The Biden administrator is preparing a sweeping crackdown on power plants that power the country’s power grid

The Biden administration is reportedly finalizing a proposal that would force fossil fuel power plants to cut emissions significantly or use costly carbon capture technologies.

The proposal — to be released shortly by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — is expected to require coal- and natural gas-fired power plants to reduce or capture the bulk of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2040, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing officials who have been briefed on a draft plan. If completed, the ordinance would be the federal government’s first ever measure to curb power plant emissions.

“The EPA cannot comment as the proposals are under inter-agency review,” EPA spokeswoman Maria Michalos told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“But we made it clear from the start that we will use all of our proprietary tools, based on decades-old bipartisan laws, to address dangerous air pollution and protect the air our children breathe today and for generations to come,” Michalos said called.


Michael Regan, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speaks during a news conference February 21. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

A filing from the Office of Management and Budget late last year said the EPA expects to issue a proposed rule for the measure in spring 2023, described as a proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired plants, and to announce a final rule by the end of 2023 by summer 2024. The filing noted that there are no EPA regulations on the books that limit emissions from existing power-generating units.

There are a total of 3,393 fossil-fired power plants nationwide, most of them natural gas power plants, according to the latest federal data. These plants generate more than 60% of the country’s electricity, compared to the roughly 14% of electricity generated by wind and solar projects.


However, EPA data shows that the power sector accounts for about 25% of total US emissions, behind only the transportation sector and slightly ahead of the industrial sector. As such, fossil fuel power plants have been targeted by environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers who argue that emissions must be reduced to stave off catastrophic climate change.

Shortly after taking office, President Biden pledged to enable the nation to achieve up to a 52% reduction in overall emissions by 2030 and achieve a zero-carbon electricity sector by 2035.

President Biden sits in front of an American flag

President Biden wants to create a zero-carbon energy sector by 2035. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“By setting effective and affordable carbon standards for power plants as part of the Clean Air Act, we can now ensure that the energy industry achieves the emissions reductions needed to address the climate crisis,” argued an issue brief published this month by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an influential environmental group. “Time is running out.”

“EPA must move quickly, propose carbon standards for power plants soon as promised, and have them finalized by early next year,” the order added. “That way, states and energy companies can work to implement it so we can curb this dangerous pollution and protect the climate as soon as possible.”

However, the fossil fuel industry has backed down, arguing that the US power grid is still heavily dependent on coal, natural gas and oil.


“The anticipated EPA rule is just the latest in President Biden’s anti-fossil fuel agenda, forcing shutdowns of power sources needed during the grid transition,” said Michelle Bloodworth, president and CEO of America’s Power, a trade group for coal energy. said Fox News Digital.

“The EPA’s actions contradict the concerns of grid operators and other energy experts who have warned of possible power shortages,” she continued.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2022 that an Obama-era rule limiting power plant emissions under the Clean Air Act was unconstitutional because Congress had never given the EPA explicit authority to enact such rules. But the Inflation Mitigation Act, passed two months after that ruling, allows the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

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