EPA Plans to Slash Power Plant Emissions

The climate rule would press power plants burning fossil fuels to switch to hydrogen or capture the carbon output.

April 25, 2023

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration will soon reveal a proposal to mandate power plants substantially lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, the Washington Post reports. The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the administration’s first effort to regulate the industry.

If approved, the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be so tight that power plants that burn fossil fuels would need to resort to carbon-capturing technology or turn to other fuels to be in compliance. The final proposal has yet to be announced by the EPA.

While the agency has been waiting to make the announcement, the final details haven’t been solidified. Those familiar with the plan say most of the strictest standards wouldn’t go into effect until the next decade to give the industry years to gradually comply.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that under the Obama administration, the EPA did not have the authority to regulate a new system to move power companies to change fuels and use cleaner energy options than coal. The agency has been taking its time revising the proposed rules to be in compliance with that court decision.

Earlier this month, the EPA announced new proposed guidelines for tailpipe emissions, stating that “depending on the compliance pathways manufacturers select to meet the standards, EPA projects that EVs could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales in MY 2032.”