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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

EPA Issues Proposed Rule To Curb Climate Change Pollution From Existing Power Plants

June 2, 2014

CONTACT: Thea Schwartz, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186

Attorney General Bill Sorrell praised the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule, announced today, for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under the federal Clean Air Act. “Vermonters will benefit from EPA’s landmark proposal. I commend President Obama and EPA for recognizing the threat that climate change poses to human health, the economy and the environment.” Attorney General Sorrell said. “Today EPA, for the first time, takes critical steps to cut greenhouse gas pollution from our nation’s single largest source, existing fossil fuel power plants.”

“EPA’s proposal affirms that state and regional efforts such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Efficiency Vermont can serve as a catalyst and foundation for future federal actions,” Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz said. “The public health, climate, and economic benefits to Vermonters will be significant.”

Existing fossil fuel power plants are the single largest source of climate change pollution, emitting roughly one-third of the nation’s total emissions. In 2006 Vermont joined a coalition of states and cities in a lawsuit seeking to force EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. In March 2011, the coalition reached final settlement of that case, resulting in EPA committing to a schedule to set emission limits. This led to EPA’s proposed limits for climate change pollution from new power plants in September 2013 and its proposed limits for existing power plants today.

The proposed rule, on which the public can comment on to EPA, provides states with flexibility to meet the needed reductions cost-effectively. Vermont will continue to be active in the rulemaking process.

Last modified: March 14, 2018