Back in June 2013, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan, a major component of which is to cut carbon pollution in the United States. The outline to accomplish this focuses on renewable energy, clean energy innovation, energy efficiency, and a cleaner transportation sector, but it also specifically addresses cutting carbon emissions from power plants, methane emissions, and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Over the last 28 months, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been steadily moving forward to make these emissions cuts a reality.
Cutting carbon emissions from power plants …Check! In August 2015, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan, which, when fully implemented, is expected to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels. The EPA also finalized new source performance standards (NSPSs) to limit carbon pollution from new power plants.
Cutting methane emissions … Check! The EPA and other federal agencies have addressed or are in the process of addressing the largest sources of methane emissions: landfills, coal mines, agriculture, and the oil and gas (O&G) industry. The EPA has proposed new and modified NSPSs addressing methane emissions from landfills and the O&G sector.