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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.

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.


Pushing to ensure cleaner air for all on this International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

On this International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, we recognize the tremendous strides the United States has taken towards cleaner air since 1970 under the federal Clean Air Act. And yet the work to achieve this year’s theme of “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” is not over. There is room for more improvement, particularly

September 7, 2021

Clean Electricity Payment Program and EPA Performance Standards – Beautiful Dance Partners

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides the strongest statement yet on the climate impacts the U.S. and other nations will experience without significant action to cut the emission of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases. It is clearer now than ever that the U.S. and other developed nations can […]

August 31, 2021
News & Media

EPA to reconsider National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, returning to science-based expert review

The EPA announced today it will reconsider the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, which were previously undermined by the Trump Administration. Hayden Hashimoto, CATF Staff Attorney said: “Today’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency will be reconsidering the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter represents an important step towards both […]

June 10, 2021
Power Plants

EPA Rescission of Trump-era Cost-Benefit Rule is an Important Step Forward

The EPA has moved to rescind the Trump-era cost-benefit rule. Hayden Hashimoto, CATF Staff Attorney said: “We are pleased to see another pullback of a Trump EPA rule that was designed to impair efforts to protect public health and the environment.  EPA’s action is an important step toward clearing away another Trump midnight rule that put a finger on the scale […]

May 13, 2021
Power Plants

CATF statement: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Vacates Trump-era EPA Rule

Yesterday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals threw out an eleventh-hour attempt by the Trump Administration to limit greenhouse gas emissions standards to power plants, ignoring all other industrial sources of CO2 that must be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The “midnight rule” was immediately challenged in Court by a number of states and […]

April 6, 2021
Power Plants

In a Reversal, EPA Maintains Standard for Coal-Fired Power Plants Based on CCS

Yet, in a last-minute attempt to protect industry, says power plants are the only sources whose climate emissions can be regulated After proposing to repeal the first ever U.S. greenhouse gas standards issued in 2015 for coal-fired power plants – which are based on partial carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) – EPA decided to leave them in place. […]

January 12, 2021

About Our Efforts

Reducing pollution and fighting climate change through
litigation and regulation

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.


  • 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