The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has outlined guidelines for a new plan in an effort to cut carbon pollution from the existing power plants, making them more efficient and emitting less pollution, as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan.
The plan, known as Clean Power Plan, aims to reduce 30% of carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030 while ensuring a healthier environment, spur innovation and strengthen the economy.
EPA, by 2030, intends to reduce particle pollution, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by more than 25% as a co-benefit, and to cut electricity bills by approximately 8% by increasing energy efficiency while reducing electricity system demand.
Additionally, the EPA aims to avoid an estimated 150,000 fewer asthma attacks in children, up to 3,300 fewer heart attacks and several thousand fewer premature deaths due to pollution-related illnesses.
Calling the plan as a "common-sense approach" to reduce carbon emissions, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that the plan will recognise the US' key role in fight against climate change.
"A flexible approach will keep electricity affordable for American families and businesses, spark homegrown clean energy innovation that creates jobs, and increase energy efficiency to save families money," Moniz said.
To be implemented through a state-federal partnership, the plan provides guidelines for states to develop schemes to meet state-specific goals to reduce carbon pollution.
The plan also provides flexibility for the states to choose the right mix of generation using diverse fuels, energy efficiency and demand-side management.
Based on this input, EPA will finalise standards next June following the schedule laid out in the June 2013 Presidential Memorandum.
Image: The US EPA outlined guidelines for new plan to cut carbon pollution from the power plants. Photo: courtesy of worradmu/Freedigitalphotos.net