Trump Visits Charleston As EPA Report Points To Slowdown in Coal Comeback

Trump administration's rewrite of Clean Power Plan will be a boon to the coal industry

On Tuesday, the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency released the so-called "Affordable Clean Energy rule", a framework meant to replace President Barack Obama's landmark Clean Power Plan.

Despite the departure of Trump's EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, a notorious anti-environmental crusader who resigned in July amid repeated accusations of graft and public corruption, there is no indication the agency will show any renewed dedication to public health.

In talking points obtained by E&E News, the administration says the EPA's own analysis shows "the proposal could reduce 2030 Carbon dioxide emissions by 0.7% to 1.5% from projected levels" under a business as usual scenario compared to 2005.

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In 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing EPA to review the Clean Power Plan to repeal, replace or revise it. But the Supreme Court put the plan on hold in 2016, and it never went into effect. Last year, IN passed a law that said the state couldn't enact environmental rules more stringent than federal ones without a review. "The levels of acid rain we receive and the amount of ozone pollution we experience is more determined by actions in these upwind states than in NY itself", Horwath said. Because more efficient coal plants would make that energy source more competitive compared to less carbon-intensive alternatives, some analysts argue that the measure could lead to increased carbon emissions. "The Trump administration's proposal, by contrast, will give our state's authorities the flexibility they need to make the right decisions for Arkansas". The EPA also expects that when states have implemented their ACE plans, American energy sector emissions could be 33 to 34 percent below 2005-level emissions. The governors from both states have pledged to add more clean energy resources, including solar and offshore wind, to their renewable energy portfolios. Trump said, "We are putting our great coal miners back to work". The organisation's clean energy director Dylan Voorhees said it would be particularly bad for people living in ME because the state gets pollution from upwind power plants.

The EPA says that, because industries have already begun to reduce their environmental impact, the new rule would cut about as much emissions as the Clean Power Plan. "It also said the EPA can't just regulate greenhouse gases just with policy judgments that have nothing to do with the facts and nothing to do with the science".

Bill Wehrum, head of the EPA's air office, told reporters that the administration rejects any suggestion the agency has a broad legal duty to combat climate change through regulation of power grids or promotion of cleaner energy.

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EPA called the Obama-era regulations on coal power plants "overly prescriptive and burdensome".

President Trump rolled back Obama's fuel efficiency rules earlier this month. The EPA acknowledges that the proposed plan is expected to "increase emissions of carbon dioxide" and "increase the level of emissions of certain pollutants in the atmosphere that adversely affect human health", as compared to the projections for Obama's plan.

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