Trump administration moves to relax coal pollution rules

Doug Carpenter
August 24, 2018

Health advocacy groups blasted the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to roll back Obama-era limits on coal-fired power plant emissions, with one group arguing the changes could result in more than 1,000 avoidable deaths a year in the USA while doing nothing to address climate change. McCabe disagrees. She says that even with today's sustainability efforts, the CPP would still have reduced emissions by another 19 percent whereas the EPA estimated this new plan will reduce them by less than two percent.

Tuesday, the Trump Administration announced it is replacing the Clean Power Plan with its "Affordable Clean Energy Rule".

The CPP, which Obama's EPA finalized in 2015, sought to reduce emissions from power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

EPA: Trump's easing of coal rules could kill 1,400 people per year

Trump, who is expected to tout the plan at a rally Tuesday night in West Virginia, loves what he has called "beautiful, clean coal" and has launched a widespread effort to save the energy source from disappearing from the US energy mix. "And, together, we won an historic stay from the Supreme Court of the United States - stopping the so-called 'Clean Power Plan.'" Certain death, too.

"An important part of what we're doing here is getting us back into our lane", Wehrum said.

It also acknowledged that the increased emissions from aging coal-fired plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the country billions of dollars. The federal government will set carbon emission guidelines, but states will have the leeway to set less-stringent standards, taking into account a facility's age and the cost of upgrades.


Hall said these long-term energy plans weigh the energy mix, consumer preferences and the environment of the future.

The Trump administration moved to overturn Obama-era environmental rules on power-plant emissions, a long-telegraphed action created to help coal-burning plants compete with natural gas and other cleaner alternatives as a national energy source. Critics of that plan said the Obama rules exceeded the EPA's authority under the federal Clean Air Act.

"If it's a step anywhere, it's a step backwards", Thornton said, adding that reducing carbon emissions also reduces other air pollutants that are harmful to people's health. However, the new rule does correct the previous administration's attempt to eliminate coal through regulatory fiat and allows more market-driven solutions to the nation's energy needs.


"Businesses need certainty to operate, so every time the administration changes the rules in the middle of the game, it's bad for business". I'm interested because this is impacting my health, it's impacting your health, it's impacting your health. About 93% of the coal produced in the U.S.is used in power plants. Gov. Jim Justice said the rule was "a big win for West Virginia".

Under the new rule, there will be "no lower limit" on emissions targets, Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said during the phone conference.

Trump has vowed to end what Republicans call a "war on coal" waged by Obama.


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