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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.

News & Media

Trump EPA’s Proposed Revision to New Power Plant Carbon Dioxide Standards is Worse than Business as Usual

The Clean Air Act, as well as regard for our future, demand that new power plants install the best pollution controls.

December 6, 2018
Decarbonized Fossil Energy

Deep Thinking on Geology and the Rollback of the Clean Power Plan

If you’re like me, you’re alarmed by the regulatory rollbacks that are undermining health and environmental protections that we have enjoyed in the United States. One such rollback is EPA’s proposal to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, the regulatory requirements that would reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, with the “Affordable” Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

November 20, 2018
Power Plants

Happy National Child Health Day?

Assistant EPA Administrator Bill Wehrum announced to the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee On September 27th that his Agency would soon be advancing an attempt to undermine the most successful air pollution reduction rules put in place by the Obama Administration – the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

October 9, 2018
Power Plants

Administrator Pruitt Appoints Himself Judge, Jury and Executioner of the Clean Power Plan

The Trump EPA’s proposed complete repeal of the Clean Power Plan represents a 180-degree turn from the position of the Obama Administration.

October 13, 2017
Super Pollutants

EPA Publishes Paper on Health Impacts of Oil and Gas Air Pollution

EPA scientists recently published a paper documenting serious and widespread human health impacts from the pollution dumped in the air by the US oil and gas industry.

October 5, 2018

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