Eileen Claussen’s Statement on Proposed EPA Rules for New Power Plants

Statement of Eileen Claussen

President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

September 20, 2013

We welcome the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal today to limit carbon emissions from new power plants. EPA’s proposal is an important step toward decarbonizing the sector responsible for the largest share of U.S. emissions.

The proposed rule would continue to allow utilities their choice of two plentiful domestic energy sources – coal and natural gas – as long as newly built plants employ the cleanest technologies available. This could provide an important regulatory incentive for scaling up the carbon capture and storage technologies that will allow continued use of coal in a carbon-constrained world. In evaluating the proposal, we will carefully consider how effectively it can help advance CCS, and whether other incentives are needed.

While we can and should become more energy-efficient, and shift our energy mix toward inherently zero-emitting sources like renewables and nuclear, it will be difficult to do that fast enough and at a reasonable enough cost to avoid the worst climate impacts. That is why CCS is so critical.

We urge EPA to move forward quickly but thoughtfully to finalize the proposed rule and to develop standards for existing plants, which account for 38 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. Power companies face huge investment decisions as they meet new pollution standards and retire or upgrade outdated plants. They need to know the full picture – including future greenhouse gas requirements – in order to keep our electricity supply as reliable and affordable as possible.

Contact Laura Rehrmann at press@c2es.org, 703-516-4146

Additional Resources:

CCS Factsheet

US Electricity Emissions