EPA proposes relaxing coal plant emissions rule

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 21, 2018

The Natural Resources Defense Council called the replacement proposal Trump's "Dirty Power Plan".

A recently introduced Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan to ease restrictions on emissions from coal-fired power plants would lead to new carbon-related health issues and as many as 1,400 premature deaths per year, according to an EPA analysis of the proposal.

"The entire Obama administration plan was centered around doing away with coal", Wheeler told the Journal in an interview.

Even so, the Obama plan has been a factor in a wave of retirements of coal-fired plants, which also are being squeezed by lower costs for natural gas and renewable power and state mandates that promote energy conservation.

Details of the plan are being released Tuesday morning, and President Donald Trump is expected to promote the new policy during a trip Tuesday evening to Charleston, West Virginia. The Obama administration had worked to nudge the country's power producers to natural gas, wind and solar power, and other less-polluting power sources.

Trump also has directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take steps to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants to keep them open, warning that impending retirements of "fuel-secure" power plants that rely on coal and nuclear power are harming the nation's power grid and reducing its resilience.

A three-page summary being circulated at the White House focuses on boosting efficiency at coal-fired power plants and allowing states to reduce "wasteful compliance costs" while focusing on improved environmental outcomes.

"Today's proposal provides the states and regulated community the certainty they need to continue environmental progress while fulfilling President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN Protesters topple Confederate monument on UNC campus Man wanted for threatening to shoot Trump spotted in Maryland MORE's goal of energy dominance", Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the EPA, said in a statement Tuesday.

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.

Trump has vowed to end what Republicans call a "war on coal" waged by Obama.

The administration's proposal is called the Affordable Clean Energy rule and, according to the Journal, is created to help revive the coal industry.

"We agree with those policymakers who have become increasingly concerned that coal retirements are a threat to grid resilience and national security", she said.

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