For Dulce Ortiz, the Clean Power Plan was a long-awaited victory.

For years, Ortiz and fellow environmental activists had been trying to get rid of the coal-fired power plant in their hometown of Waukegan. Yet pleas to the energy company, to Waukegan’s mayor, and to Illinois energy regulators had all proven unsuccessful.

Then, in August of 2015, former President Barack Obama’s administration unveiled its Clean Power Plan (CPP), which required every state to significantly reduce emissions from power plants by the year 2030. Ortiz and fellow activists believed that the CPP would help force the Waukegan plant to close. “We thought it was finally going to happen,” she says. “But the excitement didn’t last that long…”

…Finalized in October of 2015, the CPP targeted greenhouse gas emissions that emanated from power plants, which account for nearly a third of US emissions nationally, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data. Under the CPP, the U.S. EPA would set carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets for each state. “Each state would then have to come up with a plan that it would propose to U.S. EPA for how it would achieve those emission reductions inside of its state, and U.S. EPA would have to bless or reject it,” says Mark Templeton, director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School…

Continue reading at NPR…

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