Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Trump administration to roll back Obama clean power rule

Jack Corn  Documerica Jack Corn Documerica
Howard Terry | 10 October, 2017, 00:27

In fact, with emissions falling to 79.2 million tons in 2016, the RGGI states have already achieved their Clean Power Plan targets - 14 years early - and their new commitment to a regional carbon pollution limit of 54.7 million tons in 2030 is almost a third lower than what the Clean Power Plan would require.

"The war on coal is over", he told a crowd in Hazard, Kentucky, on Monday.

Pruitt said the Obama-era plan was "really about picking winners and losers" in the competition to generate electricity in the US.

"The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy", Pruitt said on Monday.

There was already an investigation underway into EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's controversial flights, and as the Washington Post reports, that examination is now broadening.

Withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan is largely viewed as just the latest in the Trump administration's multi-pronged attempts to dismantle Obama's legacy on fighting climate change. Pruitt, however, can probably expect a new wave of litigation from the other side of the debate, as environmentalist groups and allied Democrats are sure to challenge the rollback. In the past decade, the Supreme Court has ruled that the government must put a plan in place to live up to the Clean Air Act three separate times.

Such changes - such as adding automation or replacing worn turbine seals - would yield at most a 6% gain in efficiency, along with a corresponding fall in greenhouse gas emissions, according to earlier modeling by the Environmental Protection Agency and other analysts.

Climate and health experts say repealing the plan will increase health costs from air pollution and do little to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which the Supreme Court told the EPA to do in a 2007 decision, MA v. EPA.

The Clean Power Plan has been tied up in legal challenges - including the one from Coffman - since it was introduced.

The current EPA chief, who has repeatedly questioned the human role in climate change, sued the environmental agency in 2015 in an effort to block the Clean Power Plan.

The proposal also says the EPA has yet to determine whether it will create an additional rule on the regulation of greenhouse gases. He said that on Tuesday, he will sign a proposed rule to formally withdraw from the plan. Utilities shelved coal projects in preparation of the rule, and coal-fired facilities were scheduled to shut down because it would be virtually impossible for them to comply with the emissions mandates and remain financially viable.

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