The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was announced by President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency in August. The CPP sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) emissions, the first federal limit on carbon pollution from power plants. The 2030 goal is for states collectively to curb CO2 emissions so that emissions are 32% lower than 2005 levels. Target emissions reductions are established for each state and each state has the flexibility to plan the implementation of those levels. Options include:
increasing efficiency at existing power plants
increasing use of renewable and low carbon energy technology
initiating market based systems such as a carbon tax
setting up a cap and trade agreement among groups of states
By 2016 state plans must be submitted to the EPA which includes emissions reductions beginning by 2022 and interim demonstrations showing reductions are being achieved toward the 2030 goal. The CPP emission guidelines rely on emerging growth in clean energy development the use of which will reduce CO2 emissions. Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution and carbon pollution is the chief contributor to climate change.
Reductions in CO2 emissions will help protect human health and the environment from impacts of climate change and are regulated under provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA), a partnership between states and the federal government. Climate change is associated with shrinking and shifting North American bird ranges. More than half of the species studied could lose more than 50% percent of their climate range by 2080 according to Audubon’s Climate Report. Birds and other wildlife face serious danger in a warming world. Curbing greenhouse gas emissions is step in response. Ohio is one of more than a dozen states suing the EPA over the section of the CAA being used for the CPP and on potential negative effects on jobs and the economy. States have flexibility in implementing the CPP emission levels depending on the energy mix of a particular state, including increasing efficiency at power plants and increasing renewable energy fuel sources.
Audubon supports policies that lower greenhouse gas emissions. What you can do:
Become more informed about the Clean Power Plan
Thank President Obama and the EPA for the CPP, a step in addressing climate change
Contact Governor Kasich, legislators and other Ohio leaders urging support for a strong state government plan to reduce carbon emissions
Promote the need for carbon emissions reductions in public discussions in social media and news accounts. A suggested message: the Clean Power Plan protects the health of families and the environment.
For information about the CPP see the EPA website.
For information about Audubon’s Climate Report, see National Audubon’s Report
For a list of Ohio leaders, browse here.