“This is very bad for the environment,” Revesz says. “What the EPA has done will have enormously negative consequences, not just for greenhouse gas emissions but also for emissions of conventional pollutants. It will significantly increase concentrations of particulate matter and ozone and lead to thousands of additional deaths and large numbers of hospitalizations and adverse health impacts such as additional cases of asthma.”
The nation’s coal- and gas-fired power plants account for approximately 40 percent of the CO2 emissions produced in the United States. Prior to 2015, when the Obama administration finalized the Clean Power Plan, there were no uniform guidelines in the United States for regulating carbon emissions from the nation’s power sector. The Clean Power Plan was devised to correct that historic lapse in regulation and institute a framework by which states and utilities could achieve short- and long-term targets for reducing emissions over time, largely through a mix of alternative and renewable sources of energy as well upgrades in technology.
In developing the Clean Power Plan, the EPA solicited input from state leaders and utilities as well as other constituents on the best way to regulate dangerous air pollutants from the nation’s power sector in line with existing market conditions. No such lengthy consultation process was taken to develop the Affordable Clean Energy rule.