How Trump's rules on coal-fired power plants differ from Obama's

How Trump's rules on coal-fired power plants differ from Obama's

How Trump's rules on coal-fired power plants differ from Obama's

The Journal reported that acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposal that calls for states to regulate emissions from power plants, undoing a move from President Barack Obama that made those emissions regulated by the federal government for the first time.

Trump's regulations have to go through a 60-day public comment period before they are finalized.

Trump's EPA says its replacement would be cheaper too, costing some $400 million less each year than Obama's carbon dioxide curbs.

In other words, the United States could well have a new president, with a new vision for EPA, before the Trump plan triggers any substantial on-the-ground changes.

The Trump administration's plan, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, rolls back numerous protections from Obama's Clean Power Plan that sought to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions from power plants and shift incentives to cleaner sources of energy.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump wrote that he had "done so much for West Virginia" and added at the end, "CLEAN COAL!"

The Supreme Court put the plan on hold in 2016 following a legal challenge by industry and coal-friendly states, an order that remains in effect.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) released a statement on Tuesday applauding President Donald Trump and his administration's roll back of an Obama administration climate rule. Although it is unlikely to dramatically alter the US power mix - or give a big boost to domestic coal demand, which has flagged amid competition from cheap natural gas and renewables - industry advocates hailed the effort as curbing federal government overreach and leveling the playing field.

"The world's on fire and the Trump administration wants to make it worse", said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states based on power-plant emissions and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions.


"The entire Obama administration plan was centered around doing away with coal", Wheeler told the Journal, referencing the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.

Even under the administration plan, power sector emissions will continue to decline.

"They're trying to put in place approaches that would undermine in the long term EPA's ability to do what many of us think is its responsibility under environmental laws to protect the public health", Janet McCabe, EPA air chief under Obama, said.

The EPA previously estimated the Clean Power Plan would have helped avoid up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 child asthma attacks, and 300,000 missed school and work days a year by 2030.

"The announcement of a replacement rule may largely represent a political milestone for a president who promised to end his predecessor's 'war on coal, ' but we also view it as a significant policy action that could to make it hard for a differently oriented successor to establish greenhouse gas limits on any stationary sector via executive discretion", ClearView Energy Partners managing director Kevin Book said in a research note to clients. The EPA forecasts these extra deaths due to the cocktail of harmful chemicals that coal plants belch out during operation.

The proposal is projected to release 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared with Obama's Clean Power Plan, according to The Washington Post. "This is all about coal at all costs".

The Obama administration used a new reading of the Clean Air Act to implement the new and expansive rules.

"We agree with those policymakers who have become increasingly concerned that coal retirements are a threat to grid resilience and national security", she said.

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