Rule Cuts Carbon Pollution from Power Plants that Burn Coal and Gas

The time is now for the EPA to move forward—without delay—to finalize robust and durable standards to confront the rising costs and mounting dangers of the climate crisis.

An image of clouds of pollution spewing out of a smokestack

Emissions from a smokestack at the coal-fired Brandon Shores Power Plant in Baltimore


Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed urgently needed limits on carbon emissions from power plants that burn coal and gas, targeting the source of about a third of U.S. carbon pollution—or a quarter of total greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA proposed rules in April to cut carbon emissions from cars and trucks. Those standards, like the power plant rules proposed today, complement the incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act that make it cheaper and easier to cut these dangerous emissions. 

The following is a statement from Lissa Lynch, federal climate legal director at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council): 

“This is one of the most important steps we can take to confront the climate crisis. It targets the source of a third of the nation’s carbon footprint—the climate pollution from power plants that burn coal and gas. It’s long past time to rein it in. 

“This standard has one goal: to cut, at long last, the power plant carbon pollution that, until now, has gone unchecked. It complements the clean energy incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act that make it cheaper, and easier, to clean up the power sector. It’s grounded in longstanding authority under the Clean Air Act. It gives power companies the flexibility to clean up dirty plants, reduce their use or retire them in favor of cleaner options. 

“The EPA and other agencies must ensure that, if equipment is used to reduce carbon emissions, it performs properly, is maintained correctly, does not increase other air pollution, and permanently sequesters the carbon it captures.  

“Though this rule will deliver reductions in power plant carbon pollution—and sulfur dioxide, a dangerous co-pollutant—it doesn’t address the full range of disproportionate harm that fossil fuels inflict, especially on low-income communities and people of color. Beyond this rule, the federal government, state and local leaders, and industry must act to reduce those harms and to ensure that everyone has access to clean and affordable energy. We cannot build the clean energy economy of the future on the backs of those who’ve paid the highest price for the fuels of the past. 

“What’s essential now is for the EPA to move forward without delay to strengthen and finalize robust and durable standards by early next year to confront the rising costs and mounting dangers of the widening climate crisis.” 

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. 

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