Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

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 Trump administration on Tuesday announced it would seek to replace the Obama Administration policy aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions with one that gives states more oversight on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Trump administration's proposed regulation is going to be available for public review and comment for 60 days.

In the scenario that most states would likely adopt, the EPA predicts that between 470 and 1,400 premature deaths would occur every year by 2030 because of the release of microscopic particulates linked to asthma and bronchitis.

The move is just the latest effort by the Trump administration to revive an ailing coal industry and strip climate change-fighting regulations established by the Obama administration.

On Tuesday night, Mr. Trump is visiting West Virginia - one of the states hit hardest by the decline of coal - in a rally supporting Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey.

States with a history of fighting air pollution generated by coal-fired power plants on Tuesday criticized a move by President Donald Trump's administration to scale back federal restrictions on emissions, with some threatening court challenges. The Supreme Court put the brakes on it in 2016 after energy-producing states sued the EPA, saying it had exceeded its legal reach. Scott argues that the new rules improve the positions of several coal companies, including Peabody Energy (BTU), Cloud Peak Energy (CLD), Arch Coal (ARCH) and Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP).

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"However much people may want EPA to regulate power grids, however much people may want EPA to demand that new renewable energy be built instead of fossil-fuel plants, we do not have that authority under this part of the act", Wehrum said.

Hall said these long-term energy plans weigh the energy mix, consumer preferences and the environment of the future. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a 289-page report yesterday detailing the impact of President Trump's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

"It shows that removing the Clean Power Plan would be detrimental to health", said University of North Carolina environmental engineering professor Jason West, who went through the agency's regulatory analysis with The Associated Press.

Environmental advocates blasted the proposal, saying it will boost emissions from power plants, which emit about 28 percent of United States greenhouse gases, and worsen global warming.

"This is a long overdue return to the law, and the Obama administration's policies were a stretch" under existing law, said Cope. Gov. Jim Justice said the rule was "a big win for West Virginia".

President Trump rolled back Obama's fuel efficiency rules earlier this month.

If implemented, Schneider said, "the result will actually be more pollution and unnecessary loss of life - by the EPA's own reckoning about 1,000 avoidable deaths per year, while doing nothing to stem climate change".

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