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Blog Posts: us policy

  • 7 Charts Explain Changing U.S. Power Sector Emissions

    Where do U.S. power sector emissions come from? And how have they changed over time?

    Today, WRI released an update of its U.S. state GHG emissions data via CAIT 2.0, our climate data explorer. These and other data provide valuable context in light of the EPA's newly proposed emissions standards for U.S. power plants.

  • China and the United States Accelerate Efforts on Carbon Capture and Storage

    China and the United States established eight new pacts this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Half of these announcements focused on a single climate change mitigation measure—carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

    China and the United States are world’s leaders when it comes to CCUS research and development, and this week’s agreements build on a long history of CCUS collaboration between the two nations. In fact, China-US partnership on CCUS has in many respects now left the theoretical feasibility realm and entered the “steel-in-the-ground” phase.

  • Sea Level Rise Cuts Across Political Divide in Norfolk, Virginia

    While the climate change debate continues in some quarters in Washington, the impact of sea-level rise cut across political divides at the “Rising to the Challenge” conference in Norfolk, Virginia, earlier this week. Members of Congress and Virginia mayors from both political parties joined military and state and local officials to discuss the challenges sea level rise presents to the Hampton Roads area, as well as how to promote federal, state and local action.

    “We cannot afford to do nothing, it is time to act,” Mayor Sessoms said, underscoring that the impacts of climate change are not a political issue, but a backyard issue threatening communities in Virginia.

  • Former Republican EPA Administrators Show that Climate Change Need Not Be Partisan

    U.S. climate action received support yesterday from four former EPA administrators who served Republican presidents. William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman testified before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee at a hearing entitled “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now.”

    They delivered a clear message for Congress: Climate change is one of the greatest threats to America’s economy, environment, and communities—and it need not be a partisan issue.

  • What Does the Clean Power Plan Mean for Meeting U.S. Climate Goals?

    On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan, the first time the United States has set standards to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. The Plan sets emissions reduction goals for individual states; once the goals are finalized next year, states will develop plans to achieve the necessary reductions. EPA’s modeling indicates that the standards will reduce national carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

  • EPA’s New Clean Power Plan Is Both Achievable and Economically Beneficial

    The EPA's proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in avoiding the worst consequences of global warming. Without significant reductions from the power sector—America’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions—the country cannot meet its goal of reducing its emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. EPA’s proposal provides a flexible framework that puts those reductions within reach.

    Here’s a look at how the proposed rule would impact states and the future of U.S. climate action.

  • 5 Essential Facts About Emissions Standards for Power Plants

    On June 2, President Obama will unveil the latest—and likely greatest—emissions reduction policy since he announced his Climate Action Plan last year: new rules to limit carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants. With power plants accounting for around one-third of U.S. emissions, these rules will address the country’s single-largest source of greenhouse gas pollution.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions on what these standards are designed to achieve, the impact they will have, and why they’re so important. This blog highlights some of the most important aspects of these crucial actions.

  • Power Plant Rules Are Critical for Curbing U.S. Emissions

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon unveil its first-ever emissions standards for existing power plants. These rules represent the most significant component of the U.S. Climate Action Plan—and moreover, they’re an essential step for overcoming the climate change challenge.

  • 5 Ways Arkansas Can Reduce Power Plant Emissions

    Arkansas has already taken steps to reduce its near-term power sector CO2 emissions by implementing energy efficiency policies. And the state has the opportunity to go even further. In fact, new WRI analysis finds that Arkansas can reduce its CO2 emissions 39 percent below 2011 levels by 2020 by implementing new clean energy strategies and taking advantage of existing infrastructure. Achieving these reductions will allow Arkansas to meet moderately ambitious EPA power plant emissions standards, which are due to be finalized in 2015.

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