This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more.


You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.


Climate Mayors Charge Ahead Despite Proposed Clean Power Plan Repeal

Climate Mayors Speak Out

As of today, 236 U.S. mayors have signed a letter to the EPA opposing the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Representing 69 million Americans, Climate Mayors are a bipartisan coalition of city government leaders upholding the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement and to climate action. In their letter, mayors voiced strong opposition to the repeal, “which would put our citizens at risk and undermine our efforts to prepare for and protect against the worst impacts of climate change.” 

The goal of the Clean Power Plan is to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels. While not enough to meet Paris Agreement goals on its own, the Clean Power Plan is nevertheless pivotal to climate progress in the United States. Impacts of failure to mitigate climate change would be grave. Costs of damage to coastal properties alone, from stormwater surge and sea level rise, are estimated to reach $5 trillion by 2100. 

Although U.S. cities have independently taken strides toward climate action, a repeal would severely set them back. Climate Mayors stated in the letter that the “legal authority of cities and other municipalities generally extends only as far as their state governments and federal law allow, and as a result, our local efforts to address climate change are highly sensitive to national policies like the Clean Power Plan, which shape markets, steer state action, and have large direct impacts on nationwide emissions.” 

“Our local efforts to address climate change are highly sensitive to national policies like the Clean Power Plan, which shape markets, steer state action, and have large direct impacts on nationwide emissions.” 

A Path Forward Without the Clean Power Plan

With that said, there’s still hope in sight. A research report from Carnegie Mellon University found that the U.S. may be able to meet, or even exceed, the emissions reduction requirements of the Paris Agreement without the Clean Power Plan. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, emissions have declined from 2.7 billion tons to 1.9 billion tons, meeting the Clean Power Plan’s original goal for 2025 ahead of schedule. 

Thus far, emissions reduction has primarily been driven by falling natural gas prices, naturally replacing the need for heavy-emitting coal-fired power plants. However, in order to drive continued progress towards initial targets, reliance on natural gas won’t be enough. To protect against fluctuation in natural gas prices, the report recommends proactive regulation, incentives for low or zero-emission sources, and energy efficiency and retrofitting investments.  

Although the future of the Clean Power Plan stands in question, with steadfast commitment from cities and local governments, as well as ambitious initiatives in energy efficiency, the U.S. can still forge a path to climate progress from the ground up.

This article was originally published on


Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.

No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Amy Hou's picture

Thank Amy for the Post!

Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »