The state of Delaware began working on a Clean Power Plan in response to carbon pollution limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015. In August of 2018, the EPA reversed itself and repealed those rules. It has proposed a new “Affordable Clean Energy” rule instead. The state is now working with business and civic leaders to determine a response to the changes.
Division of Air Quality
DNREC has held a series of Clean Power Plan Meetings to allow Delawareans and citizens from other East Coast states to comment on the EPA proposal to replace the federal Clean Power Plan.
We have worked hard in Delaware to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and partner with other states in addressing pollution that feeds rapid climate change. This proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan will make our efforts to reduce carbon pollution more difficult, and will remove a strong incentive for state and federal governments to work together to clean up our air.
— Delaware Governor John Carney (August 21, 2018)
The 2015 Clean Power Plan, issued under the Clean Air Act, set the first-ever carbon pollution limits for the nation’s existing power plants. Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases cause climate change and pose risks to our health and our economy.
The EPA estimated that the Clean Power Plan would have cut national carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels. Delaware and the other eight northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have cumulatively reduced carbon pollution from power plants by 40 percent since 2005, while the regional economy has grown eight percent. Investments from this market-based program are projected to return more than $2 billion in lifetime energy bill savings to households and businesses in the region.
States were required to develop plans that ensure they achieve the carbon pollution reduction goals. Initial state plans were due in September 2016 and, with an extension, final plans were due in September 2018.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control held a series of listening sessions, workshops and meetings between 2015 and 2016. These sessions were designed to help the Department plan for a response to the federal rule and work with the RGGI to update the state greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.