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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.

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 saved 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