Nat Keohane on coal-fired power plant rules from the EPA

Statement of Nathaniel Keohane
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) 

April 25, 2024

Statement on the newly released coal-fired power plant rules from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

“The era of coal-fired power plants spewing unabated carbon pollution is over. The health of our local communities and our global climate demands it.

“Though power plant emissions have fallen nearly 41 percent since 2005, significant cuts are still needed to meet the nation’s 2030 emission goals. And with electricity demand projected to soar in the coming years, the emission reductions we’ve seen so far could be reversed, further undermining our ability to meet our goals.

“This rule takes an important step toward a zero-carbon power sector by requiring all current coal plants and new natural gas plants to cut or control 90 percent of their emissions. These cuts underscore the importance of carbon capture technologies;  the International Energy Agency (IEA) has made clear that reaching net-zero will be virtually impossible without CCUS.

“Putting these standards in place will bring significant economic benefits. The EPA estimates that this rule will yield a net benefit of $370 billion in economic benefits over the next twenty years.

“While it’s important to clean up the nation’s electricity supply, it’s also key to ensure that clean electricity can meet the growing demand. Today’s newly announced rules from the Department of Energy for transmission permitting will offer welcome and complementary reforms to coordinate the interagency process, create categorical exclusions for projects in existing rights of way, and standardize a two-year review period for federal transmission authorizations and permits. All of these actions  will help accelerate the transition to the clean and reliable power grid our economy needs to compete in the global economy.

“The one place where today’s announcement falls short is by exempting existing gas-fired power plants. Cleaning up the existing fleet is crucial to decarbonizing our power sector – and to avoiding the perverse incentives that could come from focusing only on new generation. We look forward to working with EPA and other stakeholders to advance rules to address this important source of emissions as soon as possible.”



About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) works to secure a safe and stable climate, by accelerating the global transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and a thriving, just, and resilient economy. Learn more at