Trump delivers on coal promise

Essen Germany

Wikipedia Coal may be indestructible but its infrastructure isn't. Witness Essen 1943/CC BY 2.0

The EPA must take comment on the proposal for the next 60 days, and environmental groups are sure to fight it. Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, said the rule change was "at the top" of the coal industry's list of policy priorities, because utility executives had been shuttering coal plants at a fast pace when faced with the prospect of curbing emissions of not just carbon dioxide, but mercury, soot and smog-forming pollutants.

The effort to re-write the plan is the latest move by Trump administration to roll back environmental rules put in place by Obama.

The proposal lays out several possible pathways that individual states might use for regulating coal-fired power plants, and what the consequences would be for pollution and human health in each case.

Trump, who has scheduled a rally on Tuesday in coal-producing state West Virginia, has vowed to end what he termed "the war on coal" and boost domestic fossil fuels production.

The transforming energy market - cheap, abundant natural gas is displacing more carbon-heavy coal - is helping keep a lid on emissions, but the new Trump administration plan does not provide any meaningful cuts and could even make the situation worse by propping up old coal plants.

Just like Morrisey fought the Obama rule in court, several Democratic states like MA have promised to do the exact same thing for this new rule.

Bob Herbert of Dover said he worries the Trump Administration's proposal could worsen air quality in Delaware.

Avella said the industry has already cut emissions.

The EPA said its analysis "looks at costs and benefits compared to the world as it is", without the Clean Power Plan in force. It has contended that the new rule would empower states, promote energy independence and facilitate economic growth and job creation.

"Our planning and long-term investment in the communities where we work and live extends far beyond any single presidential administration", he said. His administration stopped short of that today and is instead offering a weakened alternative to avoid a potentially damaging defeat in court.

"States will have a lot more time to submit their plans".

The new plan could take months or even years to take effect.

In addition to giving states greater flexibility, the ACE rule would replace costly regulatory requirements which would increase electricity prices and cost jobs.

In a statement Tuesday, Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said, "EPA has an important role when it comes to addressing the Carbon dioxide from our nation's power plants".

One of the key differences between the Trump rule and the Obama one is the lack of pollution goals. Today, about a third of US electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants, down from more than half at the turn of the century.

The federal government isn't permitted by the Clean Air Act to trigger sweeping changes to the energy grid in the name of climate change, the administration says.

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