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R44341 – EPA’s Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions – 10/12/2016

Author: James E. McCarthy, Specialist in Environmental Policy;Jonathan L. Ramseur, Specialist in Environmental Policy;Jane A. Leggett, Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy;Alexandra M. Wyatt,Legislative Attorney;Alissa M. Dolan, Legislative Attorney
Pages: 48

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. Getting the rest of the way and reducing emissions further by 2025 would likely depend, to some degree, on continued GHG emission reductions from electric power plants, which are the largest source of U.S. emissions. Bills: H.R. 2042, S. 1324