Trump Moves To Scale Back Federal Coal Plant Regulation

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Washington state will sue the Trump administration if it rolls back the Obama era Clean Power Plan. In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump wrote that he had "done so much for West Virginia" and added at the end, "CLEAN COAL!". That means our air quality won't be as be good as it could have been - by the Trump EPA's own Regulatory Impact Analysis - which will likely lead to needlessly higher levels of asthma and other respiratory illnesses than had the Obama EPA plan remained.

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule regulating coal-fired power plants, which - according to the government's own figures - could cause thousands of premature deaths per year.

The EPA said its Affordable Clean Energy rule "empowers states, promotes energy independence and facilitates economic growth and job creation".

But documents released by the EPA together with the proposed rule say that implementing it is expected to "increase the level of emissions of certain pollutants in the atmosphere that adversely affect human health".

The new proposal establishes guidelines for states to use when developing any plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The White House claimed it would also save $6.4 billion in compliance costs for industry, compared to the Obama plan.

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Many analysts view the relaxed legislation as an appeal to the coal industry. When the president asked him to become acting EPA administrator, Wheeler said the goal has always been to fight for clean air and water while protecting U.S.jobs as Acting EPA Administrator.

"Under this proposal, the air will be dirtier and we'll be less healthy as a country because President Trump is siding with a few powerful special interests", said Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. "Given the magnitude of the problem with climate change and the magnitude of the solution that we need, it's really concerning that we are looking to the states as opposed to having federal leadership, which is really what we need". When Trump ran for president he promised to stop the Obama Administration's "war on coal" as he called it.

The legal limbo could stall the regulations from taking effect. "What our proposed program would do is gives states flexibility to take those unique aspects of each of the power plants in their jurisdiction into consideration and then set standards that are tailored to the particular characteristics of the facility". To put this in context, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the worldwide body for evaluating the science on the sources and impacts of climate change, estimates that developed countries like the United States will have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by some 80 percent by 2050, relative to a 2005 baseline.

The onerous nature of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan prompted the entire MS congressional delegation in 2015 to criticize the plan as being prohibitively expensive and unattainable for Mississippi. By implication, both analyses shed light on the Trump Administration's aggressiveness on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially carbon.

One of the key differences between the Trump rule and the Obama one is the lack of pollution goals.

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