Getting serious about carbon emissions, EPA releases new proposal on clean power

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday released its new Clean Power Plan proposal which is intended to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants–the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. New Buildings Institute (NBI) applauds the EPA’s plan and particularly the flexibility provided for states to choose how to comply given state-specific goals to reduce carbon pollution. Under the proposed rules, states would be allowed to design a program that makes the most sense for their unique situation, choosing the right mix of generation using diverse fuels, energy efficiency and demand-side management.

CloudsBy including energy efficiency as one of the key pathways to reducing emissions, the new rules would clear the way for states to put forward policies and programs that reduce emissions by using less energy while delivering the same level of energy services and economic activity. Most importantly, studies find that energy efficiency, particularly in the commercial building sector, is among the least expensive approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“With today’s announcement, President Obama and the EPA have taken an historic step in the nation’s response to the climate crisis. All efforts should be made to adopt these proposed rules and to ensure that they are effective in employing our largest energy resource, namely energy efficiency, in reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ralph DiNola, executive director of NBI. “This is good American technology putting more Americans to work reducing wasted energy, cleaning up the environment and saving money,” he said.

NBI is a nonprofit group that assesses and promotes advanced design practices, new technologies and public policies for improving the energy performance of commercial buildings.  Read the White House blog for more on the proposed rules