The Trump administration on Tuesday announced it would seek to replace the Obama Administration policy aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions with one that gives states more oversight on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.
At a campaign rally in Charleston for state attorney general and senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, President Donald Trump touted the coal industry's comeback in West Virginia.
The Supreme Court put the plan on hold in 2016 following a legal challenge by industry and coal-friendly states, an order that remains in effect.
Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the plan called for "only modest efficiency improvements at individual power plants, which 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".
The Trump plan broadly increases the authority given to states to regulate coal power plants.
Andrew Wheeler, acting EPA administrator, said the proposed rule restores the rule of law, empowers states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provides modern, reliable and affordable energy for consumers.
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The new plan is projected to release at least 12 times the mount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared to the Obama plan over the next 10 years, according to estimates.
Easing the pressure on industry will bolster coal's fortunes over the next decade, compared with the clean power plan, as well as slightly reducing electricity prices.
The proposed ACE rule will now undergo a public comment period before being finalized. We're going to have more asthma.
Assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum told reporters on Tuesday that the short-term, rate-based test aligns the New Source Review programme with other EPA standards.
In a statement Tuesday, Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said, "EPA has an important role when it comes to addressing the Carbon dioxide from our nation's power plants".
"Climate change is real, no matter how much this administration tries to deny it", she said. "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". "We're hopeful and we don't see any reason that would serve as a barrier to investment and the future of coal, coal mining coal-fired plants". But other states could have faced earlier retirements for coal-fired power plants under the Obama-era plan. But he said state regulators could have more flexibility to extend the life of coal plants, if the company makes such a request. I refuse to accept the idea that we have to choose between clean air and clean drinking water and good jobs. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome".
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. Texas sued over that Obama-era plan to curb carbon emissions, calling it federal overreach.