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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.

Policy

Introduction of Smith-Luján Clean Energy Standard Legislation Builds on Momentum by States and Forward-leaning Utilities

Today, Sen. Tina Smith (MN) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM) introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2019 in Congress.  Consistent with climate science indicating that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change we must decarbonize by mid-century, this bill would put the U.S. electric sector on the path to net zero carbon

May 8, 2019
Power Plants

Environmental Groups go to the MATS to preserve Obama Rule on Mercury and Air Toxics

This week CATF, with other environmental, public health, and civil rights organizations, submitted comments on an EPA proposal regarding the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”). Led by former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler and former industry lawyer Bill Wehrum, EPA is proposing to reverse a 20-year old finding that it is appropriate and necessary to […]

April 19, 2019
News & Media

CATF Statement on EPA MATS proposal comments

In comments filed late Wednesday, a coalition of Environmental, Public Health, and Civil Rights organizations have strongly opposed EPA’s proposal, 84 Fed. Reg. 2670 (Feb. 7, 2019), that it is not “appropriate” to regulate emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired electric generating units. The coalition states that EPA’s proposal […]

April 18, 2019
Power Plants

Testimony at Public Hearing on Proposed NSPS for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed EGUs

CATF Attorney Jay Duffy testified before the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, February 14th at a public hearing in Washington D.C., opposing the Agency’s proposal to rescind the current standards for new coal-fired power plants based on carbon capture and sequestration and replace them with standards that are worse than business-as-usual and based on outdated technology. Read Testimony

February 19, 2019
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

EPA’s Latest Attempt to Make America Gag Again… The Trump “Dirty Power Plan”

Yesterday the comment period closed on the Trump EPA’s proposed replacement for Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which the Agency proposed to repeal earlier this year. The Proposal, ironically named the “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule, is anything but affordable or clean. EPA’s own analysis shows that the Proposal would increase CO2 pollution from the electricity […]

November 1, 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