Environmentalists are attacking the Trump administration's proposal Tuesday to relax pollution rules for coal-fired power plants, decrying the move as a "dirty power plan" that would harm efforts to slow global warming.
TUCKED inside the Trump administration's plan to ease carbon dioxide limits is a change that could breathe new life into scores of ageing coal power plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new regulations for the nation's coal-burning power plants Tuesday, giving more flexibility to emission control. That means our air quality won't be as be good as it could have been - by the Trump EPA's own Regulatory Impact Analysis - which will likely lead to needlessly higher levels of asthma and other respiratory illnesses than had the Obama EPA plan remained.
All of the EPA's models project that the new rule will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to current levels.
But many other states - including 14 that sued to block the Obama Clean Power Plan - will be able to write their own rules for coal-fired power plants.
The EPA said its Affordable Clean Energy rule "empowers states, promotes energy independence and facilitates economic growth and job creation".
The changes, which would be allowed just for power plants, would also enable the kind of efficiency upgrades envisioned under the Trump administration's proposed carbon dioxide requirements, Mr Wehrum said.
The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will instead hold two public hearings on the proposal, known as the SAFE Vehicles Rule, in Pittsburgh and Fresno, Calif. on September 21 and 24 respectively.
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EPA officials said they could give no firm projections for the health effects of the administration's replacement plan because that will depend on what states decide to do in regulating power plants within their borders.
Many analysts view the relaxed legislation as an appeal to the coal industry.
Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters, "Today we are fulfilling the president's agenda". The organisation's clean energy director Dylan Voorhees said it would be particularly bad for people living in ME because the state gets pollution from upwind power plants.
"Climate change is real, no matter how much this administration tries to deny it", she said. "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".
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.
With natural gas and renewable sources of power becoming more efficient and less costly, the coal industry is being left in the dust. Washingtonians deserve clean air to breathe. First, it scraps the CPP's attempt to regulate emissions "beyond the fence line" - effectively statewide emissions - and focuses on GHG emissions from power plants themselves.
Additionally, the Clean Power Plan was always a kind of environmental pig in a poke. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome".