EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions [April 5, 2016]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Taking action to address climate change by reducing U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is among President Obama's major goals. At an international conference in Copenhagen in 2009, he committed the United States to reducing emissions of GHGs 17% by 2020, as compared to 2005 levels. At the time, 85 other nations also committed to reductions. In November 2014, the President set a further goal: a 26% to 28% reduction from 2005 levels to be achieved by 2025--jointly announced with China's Xi Jinping, who set a goal for China's emissions to peak by 2030. Since U.S. GHG emissions peaked in 2007, a variety of factors--some economic, some the effect of government policies at all levels--have brought the United States more than halfway to reaching the 2020 goal. […] The rule relies on authority asserted by EPA in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). This section has been infrequently used and never interpreted by the courts, so a number of questions have arisen regarding the extent of EPA's authority and the mechanisms of implementation. The rule sets emission rate goals for each state based on its unique circumstances. The goal for each state was derived from a formula based on three 'building blocks'--broad categories that describe different reduction measures; in general, however, the policies to be adopted to reach these goals would be determined by the states, not EPA. Each state can reach its goal however it chooses, without needing to 'comply' with the assumptions in its building blocks."

Report Number:CRS Report for Congress, R44341
Author:McCarthy, James E.
Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Leggett, Jane A.
Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Dolan, Alissa M.
Publisher:Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:application/pdf
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