Greenhouse Gases from Power Plants 2005-2020/Decline Exceeded Goals of EPA Clean Power Plan: Environmental Integrity Project Report

February 26, 2021

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The Environmental Integrity Project (“EIP”) published a February 25th report titled:

Greenhouse Gases from Power Plants 2005-2020: Rapid Decline Exceeded Goals of EPA Clean Power Plan (“Report”)

The Report states that CO2 emissions from United States power plants declined more than 38 percent between 2005 and 2020.

EIP cites EPA emission reports as the source of these figures.

The decline is stated to have exceeded the goals of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (“CPP”). The Report further notes that the CPP regulations:

. . . imposed in 2015 that were expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels, but not until 2030. By the end of 2019, electric generators had already cut carbon emissions almost 31 percent below that 2005 baseline. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, electricity generated from wind, solar, and geothermal sources grew 12.5 percent in 2020 while power generated by natural gas grew more than 6 percent last year.

Also noted with some irony is the assertion that CO2 emissions from power plants declined more rapidly under the four years of the Trump Administration than the Obama years. It argues that despite hold put on the CCP by the courts that various Obama-era regulations limiting emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury air emissions from power plants took effect over the last four years.

Issues discussed in the Report include:

  • Factors Driving Decline in Emissions
  • United States Power Plant Electricity Generation by Source
  • Federal Regulations as Drivers of Emissions Declines
  • Differences in Power Plant Emissions by State
  • States with Highest Power Plant CO2 Emissions
  • Differences in Emissions Between Power Plants
  • Top Ten United States Power Plants CO2 Emitters in 2020

A copy of the Report can be downloaded here.

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