EPA moves to dramatically cut regulation of coal power

Essen Germany

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

The EPA forecasts these extra deaths due to the cocktail of harmful chemicals that coal plants belch out during operation. In times of war, in times of conflict, you can blow up those windmills, they fall down really quick.

During the conference, Wehrum also suggested that the new rule would keep the USA on track to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the EPA's own documents also state that carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase. We've seen how climate change is impacting Lake Erie, with algae blooms causing a water crisis for the communities that depend on it. Although it is unlikely to dramatically alter the USA 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 Trump administration proposal was cheered by business leaders and conservatives who said the Obama initiative illegally sought to compel more renewable power and quash coal.

By contrast, the Obama administration projected that its rule would have cut emissions 19% over the same time frame.

When President Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan in the East Room of the White House three years ago, he called it "the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change".

The second truth: We are on track to meet the climate targets of the Clean Power Plan, even as Trump has worked to dismantle it.

The Natural Resources Defense Council called the replacement proposal President Donald Trump's "Dirty Power Plan".

"To be abundantly clear, this is a regulation of greenhouse gases", he says of the new rule.

A new proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday has led to quite a divide.

Trevor Houser, an energy analyst with the Rhodium Group, said the USA power sector was already on track to meet the Obama administration's target of cutting emissions 32 percent by 2030.

This is just the latest in a series of efforts by the Trump administration to roll back environmental protections.

Trump is scheduled Tuesday evening to visit West Virginia, the nation's second-largest coal-producing state.

Trump will join supporters in Charleston, West Virginia, for a political rally on Tuesday to celebrate his administration's proposal to allow states to set their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants.

The Clean Power Plan is the EPA program to cut risky carbon pollution from coal and fracked gas power plants, and Trump will no doubt gleefully proclaim that, by gutting the standard, coal's resurrection is just around the corner.

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

Coal fired power plants have always been a staple of the US power grid, but are declining due to competition from natural gas, which is cheaper, and wind and solar power, which are far more agreeable to the environment and human health.

Combined with the EPA's proposal earlier this month to ease mileage requirements for vehicles, the move could increase the country's climate-changing emissions, according to some former top EPA officials, environmental groups, and other opponents. 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. And previous year Trump announced that he would pull the US out of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change.

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