Trump administration moves to relax coal pollution rules

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Still, the ACE rule will help coal miners, coal companies, people who work for companies that supply the industry, and states like West Virginia that count on energy for tax revenue.

The Obama administration held up the Clean Power Plan as a way to cut down global greenhouse gas emissions and make the us a leader in the fight against climate change.

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. The Clean Power Plan has been challenged in court, with critics saying the federal government overstepped its authority, and in 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court put a stay on the rule to allow the lawsuits to proceed.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new rules that would give states broad discretion in how and to what degree they regulate coal power plants, rather than be subject to federal guidelines. In a release, the EPA says the Affordable Clean Energy Rule "empowers states, promotes energy independence, and facilitates economic growth and job creation".

From 2000 to 2014, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants in Kansas decreased from 1,824 pounds per megawatt hour generated to 1,407 pounds.


The EPA will take public comments on the ACE rule for 60 days from when it's officially posted and hold a public hearing. And the CPP not only reduced carbon emissions behind climate change, it would have led to big cuts in pollutants that harm health, including particulates, nitrogen oxides and mercury, all of which come from coal-fired power plants.

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

"Projections are that without these Obama-era regulations that we'll go from double-digit increases, to actually rates going down over the next decade or so", said David Avella, chairman of GOPAC, which is primarily engaged in training Republican candidates for office. Just as the wildfire season is getting longer and more destructive in the West due to climate change and prior forest management, scientists are warning of a lengthening - and worsening - smoke season.

"[Trump's] nearly single-handedly turned this industry around", Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday, noting the "the darkest days" for the industry are now over.

Beyond the fact that state-to-state regulations will muddle the effects across states, "we are in a critical period with regard to addressing climate change", Howarth added.


The Trump administration unveiled a proposal on Monday to give states the ability to set the standards.

"We have abundant legal authority to deal with those other pollutants directly, and we have aggressive programs in place that directly target emissions of those pollutants", Wehrum said. Changing the Clean Power Plan is "an affront to people who want to breathe clean air".

According to TVA officials, it's already took preemptive steps to reduce emissions.

President Trump rolled back Obama's fuel efficiency rules earlier this month.


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