Bringing back coal will kill thousands of people per year

Trump administration's rewrite of Clean Power Plan will be a boon to the coal industry

Trump administration's rewrite of Clean Power Plan will be a boon to the coal industry

Today, about a third of USA electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants, down from more than half at the turn of the century.

The Trump administration's proposed plan would give states more discretion in regulating coal power plants.

The change of plans announced in the Federal Register on Tuesday came as the EPA announced another proposed change to an Obama carbon pollution rule.

In Connecticut, where only one coal-fired plant is left, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee called it "mind-boggling" that the administration would take steps to protect a "dying technology" over the health of citizens. "It will also do no more harm to the coal industry, which still supplies 30% of America's electricity at the lowest costs". He noted how the jet stream pushes the polluted air emitted from the coal plant smokestacks west to east, adversely affecting northeastern states. Even where coal remains king, employment in the coal sector is declining, due to increased automation.

The EPA's new proposal is open for public comment, and a final rule is expected later this year.

Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters, "Today we are fulfilling the president's agenda".

"If the Trump administration's proposal to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is adopted, we will work with our state and local partners to file suit to block it", Underwood said, "in order to protect New Yorkers, and all Americans, from the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change".

Industry officials praised the administration for the plan, which EPA estimates would save the power sector US$400 million a year in compliance costs compared with the rule it would replace.

If there's an upside for the planet, it's that technological innovation and market forces will continue to make clean energy more affordable, which should help wean Americans off coal and oil even in the absence of strict regulations. The program would thus have afforded strong improvements in public health, sharp reductions in climate-disrupting carbon pollution and other harmful emissions, and a major boost to affordable clean energy industries like solar, wind, and energy efficiency.

The new plan provides states with "candidate technologies" that can be used to establish standards of performance and incorporated into their state plans.

When health costs from air pollution - soot and smog killing people, increased asthma and heart attacks - are factored in, the repeal of the coal power plan would cost the country $1.4 billion to $3.9 billion annually, according to the agency.

"We need to bring ourselves back within our authority", says Wehrum. In fact, it is exactly what Trump and Wheeler's fossil fuel friends want, especially since they are losing money as the USA economy continues to rapidly move away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner, cheaper competitors like solar and wind.

Obama's plan was created to cut United States carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. "Not only was the one-size fits-all approach disastrous for West Virginia's coal industry, but there was also absolutely no consideration for the economic effects the plan would have on an energy-rich state like ours". Indeed, the White House press release for the new regulation does not contain a single mention of climate change or global warming.

The Obama administration used a new reading of the Clean Air Act to implement the new and expansive rules.

The implementation of those rules were halted by the Supreme Court in 2016, to give the courts time to consider the arguments over whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had exceeded its legal authority. Instead, the EPA argued that the law only allows the the agency to regulate individual power plants not the broader power system and electricity mix.

"It fails to take meaningful action to fight climate change and would actually increase emissions across the country", she said in a statement.

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