Understanding the EPA's Clean Power Plan

Issue Brief
August 15, 2015

The Clean Power Plan announced by President Obama on August 3 is a game changer because it sets the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the nation’s largest source of the pollution driving dangerous climate change. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in extreme weather, drought, wildfires, floods, and many other disruptions to the world we depend on. Limiting carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants is the single biggest step we can take to fight climate chaos.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final Clean Power Plan under the Clean Air Act, the nation’s fundamental air pollution law. This historic step to rein in power plant pollution will speed America’s transition away from fossil fuels, protecting our health and helping to safeguard future generations from the worst effects of climate change.

The Clean Power Plan sets flexible and achievable standards that give each state the opportunity to design its own most cost-effective pathway toward a cleaner electricity system. Achieving the Clean Power Plan goals will expand the nation’s economy through investment in clean energy resources and position the United States to continue its global leadership on climate change.