Trump’s coal plan-neither clean nor affordable

Essen Germany

EPA is proposing the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to give states the primary authority to design their own plans to cut emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Senator Mitch McConnell says Obama's Clean Power Plan doesn't do much in giving people cleaner air. "The President and the Environmental Protection Agency have restored - through the "Affordable Clean Energy" rule - the rule of law, returned power to the states and added needed certainty to our energy industry - both our regulators and consumers".

The CPP set strict greenhouse gas emissions limits on companies in the power industry with the hopes of reducing US emissions by approximately one third from 2005 levels by the year 2030.

According to the American Coal Council, the US Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of issuing a stay to the CPP rule in early 2016 before the lower court had even ruled on the many legal challenges that were filed including by more than half of the states.

President Donald Trump is hoping to fire up coal country by lifting federal regulations on greenhouse gases from power plants.

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.

The Affordable Clean Energy rule is created to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule for 60 days. Regardless, Pete Ternes with D-T-E Energy says his company plans to close all of its coal plants by 2040 and is sticking with its plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions significantly.

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But perhaps more striking, the agency's analysis also finds the amount of coal produced in the expected to drop, in some cases drastically.

The president trumpeted the plan at a rally late Tuesday in the coal-producing state of West Virginia.

"We are choking on the smoke from forest fires", Inslee said on a day when air quality levels remained poor across the state. We've seen how climate change is impacting Lake Erie, with algae blooms causing a water crisis for the communities that depend on it.

There are no coal-fired power plants now operating in Rhode Island or MA. "We have abundant legal authority to deal with those pollutants directly", he told reporters.

The Trump administration is emphasizing "coal at all costs", said Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator when the Obama plan was developed. Washingtonians deserve clean air to breathe. "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".

One of the key differences between the Trump rule and the Obama one is the lack of pollution goals. These cuts would have led to thousands of premature deaths avoided and major cuts in carbon emissions.

Additionally, the Clean Power Plan was always a kind of environmental pig in a poke.

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