Last month, the Salem Power Plant shut down its coal-fired boilers for good. It was the last of the state’s so-called Filthy Five power plants, targeted by environmentalists for sending tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Now, a similar story may play out across the nation, as the Environmental Protection Agency issues sweeping new guidelines aimed at combatting climate change.


David Cash is the commissioner of the State Department of Environmental Protection.

Zygmunt Plater is a professor of environmental law at Boston College Law School.