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Focus Area

Power Plants

Smokestack Pollution

CATF works to ensure the adoption of U.S. emission standards (either by legislation or regulations) on U.S. fossil power plants that would zero out power sector carbon emissions by 2050.

Power Plants

State and Utility Decarbonization Commitments

CATF has developed an interactive map to track decarbonization commitments made by States and Utilities.

October 1, 2020
Policy

CATF Statement on Legal Actions Defending the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, June 19, 2020

This morning, over 20 environmental, public health, and civil rights organizations have taken two legal actions to protect the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”). The MATS rule, which was issued in 2012, is fully complied with at this point and has resulted in a 96 percent reduction in these health-harming toxic air pollutants emitted

June 19, 2020
Power Plants

CATF Statement on EPA Proposal on Costs and Benefits of Clean Air Act Regulations

Hayden Hashimoto, Legal Fellow for Clean Air Task Force, issued the following statement on a new anti-regulatory proposal from EPA: “Today, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing yet another step to promote polluters’ interests—proposing a rule that would distort longstanding metrics for evaluating the costs and benefits of Clean Air Act regulations, thereby seriously impairing […]

June 4, 2020
Power Plants

Public Health and Environmental Coalition Argues D.C. Circuit Should Vacate Unlawful Rollback of Clean Power Plan

(Washington, D.C. – April 17, 2020) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit should vacate EPA’s “unlawful replacement” for the Clean Power Plan and remand the issue to the agency so it can swiftly establish meaningful protections against carbon pollution from existing power plants, according to public health and environmental advocates. Environmental Defense […]

April 17, 2020
Power Plants

CATF Statement on Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

In possibly the most cynical move to date by the Trump Administration in its efforts to revive the flagging coal industry, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler today signed a final rule reversing a twenty-year old finding that it is “appropriate” under the Clean Air Act to regulate mercury and other airborne toxics from coal-fired power plants—the […]

April 16, 2020
Power Plants

CATF Statement on EPA Proposal on NAAQS

Today, EPA has proposed a rule on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) that is yet another example of the Trump EPA failing to honor its core mission—to promote the American people’s public health. And in a time of a serious pandemic threatening the respiratory systems of millions of Americans, this […]

April 14, 2020

Our Efforts

Our purpose is the mitigation of climate pollution and the worst damage from climate change through advancing pollution control requirements that in turn create incentives for further improvements in pollution control technology and energy systems design, with the goal of reducing climate and air emissions of the largest sources of those pollutants.

CATF works to ensure the adoption of U.S. emission standards (either by legislation or regulations) on U.S. fossil power plants that would zero out power sector carbon emissions by 2050 e.g., CO2 emission standards on coal and gas plants consistent with full carbon capture and storage.

We seek:

  • A policy pathway that drives a zero carbon electricity system by 2050 – finalized/adopted within ten years.
  • A ramp to zero carbon pathway to catalyze innovation and commercialization of affordable zero carbon technology through regulations and/or legislation limiting carbon dioxide and other power plant pollution.

Our Goal

Ensure the adoption of U.S. emission standards, by legislation or regulations, on U.S. fossil power plants that would zero out U.S. power sector carbon emissions by 2050.
Our Impact In

Power Plants

Scope of Work

Research: CATF works with our partners at the American Lung Association and health researchers at schools of public health to defend the use in regulatory settings of the health research on the link between fine particulate matter and mortality.

Education & Outreach: CATF builds awareness of the health and climate impacts from coal plant pollution.

Legislation: CATF scopes and drafts deep decarbonization policy and legislation that will result in the turnover of existing fossil fleet.

Rule Making/Litigation: CATF provides legal and technical expertise in defense of EPA’s suite of climate and other pollution regulations. CATF attorneys represent other non-profit client organizations in judicial proceedings for the enactment of pollution reducing regulations and defends existing regulations from attacks and attempts to repeal.

Achievements

  • CATF helped win EPA rules to reduce coal plant emissions by 70-90% by 2020 through the Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) that are saving 20,000+ lives per year. To date, CATF has successfully defended rules in court.
  • Economic pressure from regulation, combined with low renewable and natural gas prices, helped retire more than one third of US coal capacity.
  • Brought public attention to coal and power sector generally as major air pollution source.
  • Developed a large campaign infrastructure that could mobilize on power sector CO2 emissions.
  • Under the Carbon Pollution Standards rule, no new uncontrolled coal plants can be built. No new coal plants currently being considered in US.
  • For existing power plants, Trump Administration is seeking to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan but is being slowed by CATF legal opposition.
  • Meanwhile US power sector CO2 emissions continue decline as utilities see ultimate carbon rules as inevitable and natural gas as a near term solution.
  • Working to set up energy sector/environmental coalition to support legislative action by next Congress and President.
Current Projects

What We're Working On

  • Project

    US Power Plant Regulation

  • Project

    Raising Awareness of the Health Impacts of Coal Plant Pollution

  • Project

    Deep Decarbonization of the U.S. Power Sector by Mid-Century