Sen. Carper Lauds New EPA Carbon Proposal to Clean-up Existing Coal-Fired Plants

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, issued the following statement commending the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new proposal that would cut carbon emissions from the nation’s existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030, known as the Clean Power Plan.

“For those living in states already seeing the impacts of climate change, today’s proposal to regulate our nation’s largest source of carbon pollution has been a long time coming.  Delaware, and other states feeling the impacts of climate change, have already taken action to reduce local power plant carbon emissions. Unfortunately, a few states cannot tackle this issue alone – all states must do their fair share to make an impact.  Today’s Clean Power Plan unites our country in working to take on the largest source of carbon emissions together.  I applaud the president for his leadership for moving forward with this rule.

“Through unprecedented outreach – the EPA has collected broad input and developed a proposal that builds on what states are already doing to reduce power plant carbon emissions.  I am happy to see that EPA’s rule recognizes that what works for Delaware, may not work for Texas – allowing each state the flexibility to find the most cost effective ways to reduce their own emissions.  After working for more than a decade on legislative efforts to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, I applaud EPA’s decision to set carbon targets that are both meaningful and feasible.  

“Opponents to this rule will argue that we have to choose between having a cleaner, stronger environment and having a robust, growing economy. I believe this is a false choice.  Not only has EPA crafted a rule that ensures the benefits far outweigh the costs – we know inaction on climate change only costs us money in the long run. The Government Accountability Office has already listed climate change as one of the biggest fiscal risks facing our country. With today’s announcement from the EPA we took a step toward protecting our environment and our economy.

“Even though the EPA has already reached out over 300 stakeholders nationwide– the proposal will be open for 120 days of further public comment.  I encourage everyone that is interested to read the rule and submit your comments before the deadline.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, proposed a rule to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants using the authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.   The Clean Power Plan sets state-specific goals starting in 2020 and ending in 2030 – allowing states to work individually or regionally to meet their goals. 

According to the EPA, this rule will cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030 based on 2005 emissions.  That is equal to the annual emissions of more than 150 million cars or the emissions to power over half the homes in America.   This rule is also expected to reduce smog and soot air pollution – with public health and climate benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion per year in 2030.  The costs are estimated to be $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion by 2030.


To read the proposal in full, please click here.