Natural Gas Use and the Clean Power Plan

In June 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) proposed a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon emissions from the nation's coal fired power plants. This plan is contained within federal regulations available here.

The US EPA plan has four main blocks, or elements. One of the elements of the plan calls for states to “redispatch” – or switch coal fired plants to plants burning natural gas – as a means to reduce emissions. The plan sets two targets for switching from coal to natural gas in the proposed rule: 70% or by 65%. Only one of these will be in US EPA’s final rule.

This page explores the effects the proposed Clean Power Plan regulation will have on the demand for natural gas in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The interactive map and table present: (1) which states are projected to switch from coal to natural gas fired power plants, (2) which states expect to see an increase in natural gas use by up to either 65% or 70% upon switching, (3) the corresponding need for each state to increase use of natural gas to maintain power production, and (4) which states support, which states oppose, and which states take no position on the Clean Power Plan based on whether they have filed an amicus curiae brief in In re: Murray Energy Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 14-1112, consolidated with No. 14-1151  (D.C. Circuit 2014). The 14 states challenging the Clean Power Plan may not have natural gas use data available as part of their opposition to the rule. 

This page has been updated through July 1, 2015. To explore the variation in these laws, click the “Start Here” button below.

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