EPA Announces Replacement to Obama's Clean Power Plan
- Author: Essie Rivera Aug 23, 2018,
Aug 23, 2018, 1:47
Some 40 percent of coal plants in operation in 2010 are now closed or slated for closure, according to estimates from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. In the scenario the E.P.A. has pegged as the most likely to occur, the health effects would be significant.
"The Affordable Clean Energy rule makes important strides in reversing the Obama-era Power Plan".
The EPA called the Obama-era regulations on coal power plants "overly prescriptive and burdensome". Two-thirds of electricity comes from coal and natural gas.
The bottom line is that the president is more concerned about prolonging the lives of a few dozen coal plants and improving the short-term profits of a few fossil fuel companies than he is about prolonging or improving the lives of millions of Americans. Even where coal remains king, employment in the coal sector is declining, due to increased automation.
"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", stated Andrew Wheeler, the EPA's acting administrator.
Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX.
The new EPA proposal, called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, would give states leeway on whether to limit emissions and by how much, and allow older power plants to operate longer.
"The Clean Power Plan would have reduced particle pollution along with the Carbon dioxide benefits by 25 percent by 2030". "Environmental regulation in many cases is one of the leading causes of the decline in emissions that we observed over the past twenty years", said Reed Walker, an associate professor at UC Berkeley who co-authored a recent study that found regulation to be a key factor in reducing emissions in the manufacturing sector, even with increasing output. She said strong, immediate action was needed to curb climate change pollution and promote affordable, clean, and sustainable energy. Downwind states, Howarth said in a statement, are particularly vulnerable to the choices of their upwind counterparts, who determine their air quality: Pollution levels in NY, for example, could be determined by decision made in Pennsylvania, or Ohio.
But documents released by the EPA together with the proposed rule say that implementing it is expected to "increase the level of emissions of certain pollutants in the atmosphere that adversely affect human health".
"An important part of what we're doing here is getting us back into our lane", Wehrum said.
The new EPA policy has no national emissions reduction target and barely mentions climate change. In fact, it is exactly what Trump and Wheeler's fossil fuel friends want, especially since they are losing money as the US economy continues to rapidly move away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner, cheaper competitors like solar and wind.
The US is the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and, under Trump, has vowed to step away from the Paris deal and tear up various climate-related regulations.
In a press conference, Inslee said President Trump's proposal is a deadly coal plan that will expose Washingtonians to deadly air, and that the president has sold out children's health to the coal industry. The Supreme Court put the brakes on it in 2016 after energy-producing states sued the EPA, saying it had exceeded its legal reach.
Trevor Houser, an energy analyst with the Rhodium Group, said the United States power sector was already on track to meet the Obama administration's target of cutting emissions 32 percent by 2030. Depending on how aggressively states make efficiency standards for individual power plants, those numbers could decrease.
The United States' level of Carbon dioxide emissions actually decreased in 2017, but experts fear that a weakened regulatory scheme with decentralized goals could hike up rates of pollution nationwide.