Expanding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

If you’ve ever noticed smoke billowing from a power plant and been concerned about the effect that is having on the environment, don’t worry—you’re not alone. This past June, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan, a proposal that endeavors to decrease carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, currently the largest source of CO2 released in the US. Overall, the plan aims to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions through fuel switching, increase in the use of renewable power, and energy efficiency.
Rather than impose an overall federal goal, the Clean Power Plan allows for flexibility. Emission reduction goals are set by state, leaving individual state governments with the responsibility to decide the best way to proceed. If the goals are met, the EPA predicts that power plant emissions will be reduced by 30 percent in the next 15 years. Less pollution would lead to fewer premature deaths and asthma attacks, preventing up to 490,000 missed work or school days. As a result, saved trips to the doctor and availability for more workdays could provide up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits. Overall, electric bills would shrink by approximately 8 percent.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an organization of scientists and engineers, recently released a report called Strengthening the Clean Power Plan. In this report the UCS reveals that greenhouse gas emissions can be efficiently and economically reduced even more than the EPA suggests in their report, by emphasizing the use of renewable energy and decreasing the need for expensive natural gas.
Using the latest market data and rates of renewable energy growth, the UCS predicts that emissions could be cut by 40 percent by 2030—rather than the EPA’s target of 30 percent—and generate twice as much renewable energy in the process. And as the technology to produce renewable energy has been steadily improving while also decreasing in price, the cost benefits would be even greater than in the original plan.
The UCS also reveals that, in seven states, the amount of renewable energy generated in 2013 exceeds the expectation the EPA set for them for 2030. Many states are also already surpassing the EPA’s predicted rate for the growth of renewable energy.
Parts of the United States are therefore already over-achieving in the plan set out for cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the next decade, while other areas are not far off from reaching their goals. If the EPA’s proposal is taken to even greater extremes, as the UCS report suggests it should, more renewable energy could be produced while simultaneously decreasing the costs of climate and public health benefits further than originally planned.
Read more about the Clean Power Plan, and join the discussion with the EPA to encourage them to take their efforts to the next level.

Solution News Source

Expanding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

If you’ve ever noticed smoke billowing from a power plant and been concerned about the effect that is having on the environment, don’t worry—you’re not alone. This past June, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan, a proposal that endeavors to decrease carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, currently the largest source of CO2 released in the US. Overall, the plan aims to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions through fuel switching, increase in the use of renewable power, and energy efficiency.
Rather than impose an overall federal goal, the Clean Power Plan allows for flexibility. Emission reduction goals are set by state, leaving individual state governments with the responsibility to decide the best way to proceed. If the goals are met, the EPA predicts that power plant emissions will be reduced by 30 percent in the next 15 years. Less pollution would lead to fewer premature deaths and asthma attacks, preventing up to 490,000 missed work or school days. As a result, saved trips to the doctor and availability for more workdays could provide up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits. Overall, electric bills would shrink by approximately 8 percent.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an organization of scientists and engineers, recently released a report called Strengthening the Clean Power Plan. In this report the UCS reveals that greenhouse gas emissions can be efficiently and economically reduced even more than the EPA suggests in their report, by emphasizing the use of renewable energy and decreasing the need for expensive natural gas.
Using the latest market data and rates of renewable energy growth, the UCS predicts that emissions could be cut by 40 percent by 2030—rather than the EPA’s target of 30 percent—and generate twice as much renewable energy in the process. And as the technology to produce renewable energy has been steadily improving while also decreasing in price, the cost benefits would be even greater than in the original plan.
The UCS also reveals that, in seven states, the amount of renewable energy generated in 2013 exceeds the expectation the EPA set for them for 2030. Many states are also already surpassing the EPA’s predicted rate for the growth of renewable energy.
Parts of the United States are therefore already over-achieving in the plan set out for cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the next decade, while other areas are not far off from reaching their goals. If the EPA’s proposal is taken to even greater extremes, as the UCS report suggests it should, more renewable energy could be produced while simultaneously decreasing the costs of climate and public health benefits further than originally planned.
Read more about the Clean Power Plan, and join the discussion with the EPA to encourage them to take their efforts to the next level.

Solution News Source

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