Clean Power Plan Advances Clean Energy in the West & Across the Nation

John NielsenWestern states are well positioned to meet EPA’s Clean Power Plan. We have flexible tools that can quickly and easily help us attain these important goals to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector.

– John Nielsen, Clean Energy Program Director

We Must Reduce Carbon Pollution

Climate change is already affecting the West. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to preserve our treasured environment, which supports our Western economy and high quality of life. By transitioning to a clean energy economy, we can address climate change and protect our communities and iconic Western landscapes. Western Resource Advocates supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which will result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

How We’re Working On The Clean Power Plan

  • Carbon Reduction Credit Programs

    A carbon reduction credit program would be an efficient, cost-effective, and simple way for states to comply with the Clean Power Plan.

  • State Analysis

    In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the first-ever carbon pollution limits for power plants, the Clean Power Plan. In part due to the clean energy policies Western Resource Advocates has worked to advance, many Western states are well positioned to meet these standards.

The Clean Power Plan is a Smart Way to Address Climate Change

With the publication of the Clean Power Plan, the federal government for the first time is seeking to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants, an important step towards tackling the issue of climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency released its final Clean Power Plan in August, 2015. The Clean Power Plan is a federal air regulation under the existing Clean Air Act, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce air pollution to protect our health and environment.

The final Clean Power Plan sets an emissions rate target for coal and combined cycle gas plants, and an average emissions rate for each state. The target rate for each type of facility is in terms of pounds of carbon pollution per megawatt of power produced — called a rate-based standard. The targets are based on the ability of power plants to reduce their emissions rate through three key ways:

  1. Improving efficiency at existing power plants,
  2. Redirecting (or “re-dispatching”) energy production away from carbon-intensive coal plants to gas units, and
  3. Displacing generation at coal and gas plants with zero carbon renewable energy.

States can use a variety of measures – including measures that were not part of EPA’s process for setting the target rates, such as energy efficiency – to meet the Clean Power Plan targets.

Western Resource Advocates Supports the Clean Power Plan and Is Showing How Western States Can Reduce Pollution

In December 2014, Western Resource Advocates encouraged the EPA to maintain strong goals and interim deadlines in the final plan. We have defended the Clean Power Plan before state legislatures throughout the region in order to secure its sucessful implementation. We also submitted extensive legal and technical comments to ensure an efficient and realistic Plan.

Clean Energy Program

Clean Power Plan

Related Blog Post

First Ever National Carbon Pollution Standards Announced: Western States Well Positioned to Meet New Clean Power Plan Targets

by Joan Clayburgh


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steve michel 2019

Steve Michel

Deputy Director, Clean Energy Program

john nielsen 2019

John Nielsen

Clean Energy Program Director

erin overturf 2019

Erin Overturf

Deputy Director, Clean Energy Program


Stacy Tellinghuisen

Senior Climate Policy Analyst