Recent Developments in Addressing Climate Change: the American Power Act and USEPA Greenhouse Gas Regulation

logo_smallTwo important climate change actions occurred at the federal level recently. The much-anticipated Kerry-Lieberman climate legislation, the “American Power Act”, was released while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a “Tailoring Rule” that sets thresholds for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from large sources, such as power plants—the next step in a process of regulating greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act that was launched by a Supreme Court decision in 2007.
The EPA regulatory process and the “American Power Act” each have upsides and limitations, but both of these efforts are aimed at the same goal—to address global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and de-carbonizing our economy. These steps are long overdue and don’t go far enough to fully undo the impacts of global warming, however to the extent that they enable efficiency improvements, transportation alternatives, and clean, affordable energy, the sooner they go into effect the better.

CNT continues to work to give communities the tools and information they need to take action and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating community and household benefits. We hope that firm federal action of some kind will move forward and create the incentives and opportunities for communities to expand the implementation of sustainable climate solutions. In the upcoming weeks, CNT will continue efforts to preserve and strengthen the best parts of the “American Power Act” while informing decision-makers about the unnecessary and counterproductive elements.