Administration’s Bold Plan to Reduce Carbon Emissions Provides Local Flexibility

Washington, D.C. - The National League of Cities (NLC) and cities across the nation applauded the Administration's ambitious plan to significantly reduce carbon emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants, taking a positive step toward mitigating the impact and severity of climate change and building on actions already taken by local governments. Announced today by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, the plan aims to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2030, while keeping energy affordable and reliable and creating jobs.

"I encourage cities to rally behind the Administration's goal to substantially reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power facilities, for the health of our communities and the nation," said NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. "Each city, community and state has different strategies to mitigate carbon pollution. We urge the Administration to continue giving local governments the flexibility needed to tailor solutions that best fit the needs of their residents and businesses as they work to reach or exceed the 30 percent reduction goal."

The plan was announced following recent visits by Administrator McCarthy to Saint Paul, Minn., Salt Lake City, Utah and other cities taking innovative, proactive measures to promote resiliency and sustainability in their communities. In Saint Paul, efforts are underway to make the city a regional leader in the use and promotion of solar energy. Since completing more than 100 energy efficiency projects at 60 municipal facilities, including 13 solar installations, the city has seen a 30 percent energy reduction.

Salt Lake City also leads in climate mitigation efforts. In 2013, the city's new Public Safety Building became the first of its kind in the nation to earn a "net zero" energy rating, with 80 percent savings in energy use and emissions.

The National League of Cities has been the leading organization providing proactive solutions that promote city resiliency and climate mitigation efforts. In March, NLC re-launched its Sustainable Cities Institute as an online toolkit that provides detailed resources for how cities can be sustainable in their operations and projects.