Statement: New rule would cut coal, gas plant pollution

Media Contacts

Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Environment America Research & Policy Center; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Proposed EPA policy reins in many top polluters


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday proposed new limits on carbon pollution from coal- and gas-burning power plants. Many coal and some gas plants will need to reduce or capture the vast majority of the carbon they produce once the standards take full effect in the 2030s. The proposal allows more pollution from some coal plants and smaller or intermittently running gas plants. The announcement follows recent actions by the Biden administration to curb harmful air pollution, including soot, which kills thousands of Americans each year, and chemicals that contribute to smog.

Of the 50 U.S. facilities that emit the most greenhouse gas pollution into our air, 45 are power plants. Together, those 45 power plants emitted 28% of all greenhouse gases from electricity generation nationwide, while generating only 11% of the nation’s power. 

EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced the rule at the University of Maryland, where students campaigned in support of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which sets a 60% greenhouse gas reduction target for Maryland by 2031, and a net zero goal for 2045.

In response to the new EPA proposal, Lisa Frank, executive director of Environment America’s Washington Program Office, said:

“America has come a long way from the days when coal was one of the only ways to keep the lights on. Today, clean power is cheaper and more available than ever before. We must require America’s biggest polluters to clean up their act, instead of continuing to harm our climate and our health, and we shouldn’t allow new power plants to make these problems worse. We’re glad to see this proposal and urge the EPA to extend it to more power plants.”

Emily Scarr, state director for Maryland PIRG Foundation, released the following statement:

“We’ve made a lot of progress cleaning up our air, but coal and gas plants still do serious damage to our health and the worst ones contribute more to climate change than some whole states do. It doesn’t have to be this way. The EPA and President Biden, by adopting strong rules regulating power plants, can make today’s kids the last generation to grow up with the dirty air these plants currently produce. We look forward to weighing in during the public comment period in support of a healthier, more stable future.”