This page last reviewed December 3, 2014

U.S. EPA's Proposed Rules to Regulate Power Plants



In June 2013, President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan (Plan).  The plan is a national blueprint to slow the effects of climate change, and focuses on both carbon dioxide (CO2) and short lived climate pollutants, such as methane and hydrofluorocarbons.  The plan encompasses many sources of greenhouse gas emissions, including industrial and transportation sources.  

More information about the Climate Action Plan can be found here: 

The Climate Action Plan directs the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to promulgate rules to address CO2 emissions from new and existing power plants, which nationally emitted over 2 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2012; the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

New Power Plants  

In September 2013, U.S. EPA proposed a rule, under Section 111(b) of the Federal Clean Air Act, to limit CO2 emissions from future fossil-fueled power plants.  

More information about the proposed new power plant rule can be found here:

ARB worked closely with the state energy agencies to evaluate U.S. EPA’s proposed power plant rules.  Together, we developed comments on U.S. EPA’s proposal that sought additional flexibility because of the unique way that California uses its power plants to integrate ever-increasing levels of renewable energy.  We continue to work with U.S. EPA to address these comments and look forward to a finalized rule in June 2015.  California's comment letter on the proposed rule to regulate new power plants may be found here:

Existing Power Plants  

On June 2, 2014, U.S. EPA released a proposed rule to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, also known as the Clean Power Plan.  U.S. EPA estimates that the proposed rule will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 30% by 2030 from 2005 emissions.  Instead of regulating emissions from individual power plants, the proposed rule focuses heavily on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs as a whole, which are two mechanisms championed by states like California where much progress and success have already been achieved.   U.S. EPA also recognized the fact that state power grids are interconnected, and has included flexibility in the proposed rule allowing the option for states to work together to develop multi-state compliance plans.  

More information about the proposed rule for existing power plants can be found here:

California's comment letter on the proposed Clean Power Plan can be found here:

Public Workshop

ARB in collaboration with the California Energy Commission (CEC), and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) invites you to participate in a public meeting to discuss U.S. EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan, also known as 111(d), to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fueled power plants.  The meeting is open to the public and participation by all interested parties is encouraged.  

At the Workshop, staff plans to present an overview of U.S. EPA's proposed rule, including a brief discussion of how U.S. EPA applied the four building blocks to establish California's emission limits.  In addition, staff will share their analysis of the impacts of the proposed rule on existing energy and AB 32 programs and discuss our preliminary comments on elements of the proposed rule we plan to support and where we have identified concerns.  The workshop is an opportunity to hear the views of stakeholders and to reflect/incorporate these views, where possible, in the State’s comment letter that will be submitted to U.S. EPA prior to the October 16, 2014 deadline.  Potential issues for discussion include enforceability, interstate energy efficiency and renewable energy crediting, and potential strategies for collaboration with other western states as a part of joint compliance options.  Staff from the ARB, CEC, and CPUC will be present to answer questions from workshop attendees.  

Documents and materials for the workshop will be posted below as they become available.

Date and Time Title Location Materials
September 9, 2014

10 am to 3 pm
Public Workshop to discuss U.S. EPA's Proposed Rules to Regulate Power Plants

Cal/EPA HQ Building
Byron Sher Auditorium
1001 I Street, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814


Discussion Paper 


Public Comments

Staying in Touch

To receive electronic notices of future meetings and availability of materials, you can sign up with the climate change listserver at:

For information, please contact:
Chris Gallenstein
(916) 324-8017

Climate Change