Full Title: Cleaner and Cheaper: Using the Clean Air Act to Sharply Reduce Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants, Delivering Health, Environmental, and Economic Benefits
Author(s): Dan Lashof, Starla Yeh
Publisher(s): Natural Resources Defense Council
Publication Date: 3/2014


In the United States, electric power plants emit about 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, or roughly 40 percent of the nation’s total emissions. The EPA has taken important first steps by setting standards that will cut the carbon pollution from automobiles and trucks nearly in half by 2025 and by proposing standards to limit the carbon pollution from new power plants. Now the EPA is working on tackling the CO2 pollution from hundreds of existing fossil-fueled power plants in the United States.

[This] updated analysis shows NRDC’s approach would cut CO2 pollution from America’s power plants by 21 to 31 percent from 2012 levels by 2020, and 25 to 36 percent by 2025. It would deliver benefits in saved lives and damages avoided from climate change that would surpass the cost by as much as $21 billion to $53 billion by 2020. For Americans’ health and welfare, for the nation’s economy, and for the health of the planet, we can’t afford not to curb the carbon pollution from existing power plants.