Air Resources Board Chair commends U.S. EPA on release of Clean Power Plan
SACRAMENTO - Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols today released the following statement on US EPA’s Clean Power Plan rules, which limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants:
“The Clean Power Plan supports successful state programs like those California has put in place. We will move quickly to implement it and urge other states to do the same,” said Chair Nichols. “California’s experience demonstrates that greenhouse gas emission reductions and economic growth can go hand-in-hand, and we are very pleased to see the federal government now take a leading role in the effort to curb climate change and create new economic opportunities.”
The Clean Power Plan, issued under the federal Clean Air Act, is a keystone of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary GHG pollutant, accounting for nearly three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions and 84 percent of U.S. GHG emissions.
Fossil fuel-fired power plants are, by far, the largest emitters of GHGs among stationary sources in the U.S. These emissions are a major threat to public health and can be avoided using cleaner power generation options that are also more cost-effective for ratepayers. California has long supported Clean Air Act action, and played a significant role in U.S. EPA’s collaborative effort to develop the Plan.
Under the regulation each state is given its own reduction target based on the amount of GHG its existing power generators can reduce through well-demonstrated options (ranging from power plant upgrades to energy efficiency). Each state is also given the flexibility to meet the target using measures that they choose. The national reduction in U.S. EPA’s proposed rule was estimated to be about 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
California’s target reflects that national goal, and the state is already well on its way to further reducing power sector emissions. That target fits within the planned economy-wide state reduction goal of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. That target was set recently by Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-30-15). California is currently on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 under the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).
The Clean Power Plan builds on the success of programs already underway across the country, which show that energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smarter grids can deliver clean power, protecting the public and the planet.
ARB looks forward to building a state compliance plan that supports both the state and federal GHG reductions efforts through a public stakeholder process, beginning this fall.
See more about AB 32 here.
Governor Brown’s Executive Order directing 40 percent emission reductions beyond 2020 is here.
Learn more about the Clean Power Plan here.