Trump to relax carbon limits on power plants to support United States coal

22 August, 2018, 14:44 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • CC BY 2.0 Wikipedia put these kids to work again

"Today's proposal provides the states and regulated community the certainty they need to continue environmental progress while fulfilling President Trump's goal of energy dominance", acting administrator of the EPA Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

Southern Co., DTE Energy Co., Consumers Energy and Duke Energy Corp. have announced plans to decarbonize and in some cases be coal-free by 2040.

The Obama-era clean power plan set national carbon pollution limits on coal-fired power plants, influencing states to adopt more renewable energy and shutter old, dirty facilities.

What does this mean for climate change? "They know that clean energy is just cheaper", Perera said.

If the country doesn't force down its planet-warming gases coming from power plants, vehicles, agriculture and other sources, the world is far more likely to careen into a challenging new climate marked by severe heatwaves, storms, flooding and displacement of millions of people. Such changes "will barely make a dent in cutting heat-trapping emissions from the electricity sector, and could even, under some circumstances, lead to increased emissions depending on how much the plants are run", Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an emailed statement.

This year is on track to be another big year for coal plant retirements.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule "worse than nothing".

EPA called the Obama-era regulations on coal power plants "overly prescriptive and burdensome".

Nowhere is the trend more apparent than with investor-owned utilities. "We simply must greatly lower emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from energy producers, and do so soon".

But that still might not be enough to dramatically alter the landscape for US coal, which is losing USA customers as utilities increasingly turn to natural gas and renewable power to generate electricity. 'This is all about coal at all costs'.


The EPA is not altering its landmark 2009 conclusion that greenhouse gases threaten health and human welfare - a finding underpinning the power plant regulation and compelling the Trump's move Tuesday.

The proposed rule will result in at least 12 times more carbon dioxide ending up in the atmosphere than if the Clean Power Plan was implemented according to the EPA's own analysis. His boss, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist. However, according to NBC News, unlike the new fuel efficiency rules, ACE does not appear to take regulatory authority from states which have stricter coal standards.

Southern already has cut back on its coal fleet from 69 percent of its utility mix in 2007 to roughly 28 percent in 2017.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, asked in an interview whether his state would sue to block the plan, said "we're moving in that direction" but would see the administrative process through.

North Carolina is an exception. Once it is finalized, states would have three years to submit a compliance plan.

If the new rules go into effect, the regulation of power plants' emissions would largely fall on states rather than federal government rules that industry officials have said raise their costs.

"I was elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh", Trump said at the time, "not Paris".

Trump wasn't correct in saying it has gone away, though. "We love clean, beautiful West Virginia coal", he said, extolling the combustible mineral's superiority to less "indestructible" alternatives like windmills, gas, and solar energy.

Those numbers are not addressed in the EPA's new report.

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