EPA Overhauls Obama-Era Environmental Regulations

Trump EPA to unveil replacement for Obama's power plant rule

The law of the land remains the MA v. EPA Supreme Court decision in 2007 that carbon dioxide could be regulated under the terms of the Clean Air Act even though the law never contemplated doing so. ACE will now face a similar situation.

The EPA's final "Affordable Clean Energy" rule is created to pare carbon dioxide emissions by encouraging efficiency upgrades at individual power plants.

Added the Times: "The new rule, which is expected to come into effect within 30 days, assumes that the forces of the market will guide the country to a future of cleaner energy by naturally phasing out coal over time".

New York's attorney general said the state will sue to block the rollback. The ACE will still seek to reduce carbon emissions, but by a smaller amount.

Trump announced in 2017 his plans to kill the Clean Power Plan that had been introduced two years earlier by then-president Barack Obama but had been put on hold by the Supreme Court. There is one problem with the EPA's new rule.

NRDC says the EPA should instead have strengthened the Obama-era regulation to cut power plant emissions by 60% from 2005 levels by 2030.

"The EPA's own estimates say the new rule will lead to more upper respiratory illness, and it will cause an estimated 1,400 premature deaths each year by the year 2030", she said.

EEI said it is reviewing the details of the Affordable Clean Energy rule, and will be working with its members to determine what the rule means for its companies, the power sector and customers. But Lynch said the law "sets no such restriction" and its language "allows a more flexible conception. including the use of credits or trading to enable deeper reductions".

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The exterior of the headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in downtown Washington, D.C., April 2, 2017.

"You invest in updating an old coal plant, it makes it more economic" to run it more to pay off that investment. "It assumes that gradual changes in the energy market will take care of problems". "It's that they're not creating momentum to substitute renewables and substitute natural gas for coal". States will be given three years to submit the plan and the EPA will have 12 months to approve it. Wheeler called it a sign that "fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix" in the US energy supply.

Asked after the rule roll out how many coal plants that were at risk of shuttering may get a lifeline with the implementation of ACE, Wheeler told reporters the agency did not analyze this but that states would have more "flexibility" to determine what plants stay open. In a nutshell, the current administration believes Obama targeted coal plants in his attempt to transition the country to clean energy - an audacious and simple plan that would improve the health of the American people and the environment.

"It won't necessarily be the saving grace for coal", but "this regulation gives coal a fighting chance", said Nick Loris, an economist with the Heritage Foundation. Under the CPP, states would have had an incentive to push the most-polluting power plants (in most cases, coal plants) offline sooner.

"The ACE rule will help continue the trend of declining electric power sector emissions while preserving America's energy leadership and respecting the law", said Christopher Guith, acting president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute. Coal plants provide reliable baseload capacity.

"Strengthening the Clean Power Plan is our best option for cleaning up the dirty power plants that make up more than a third of our carbon footprint", said a statement from NRDC president Rhea Suh.

In the same statement, the coal advocacy group acknowledge that almost 40% of the US coal fleet has retired or announced plans to retire. In February, Alabama Power's Plant Gorgas announced that it would have to close after 100 years of business. The number of coal-fired plant retirements continues to grow, and no new coal-fired plants are coming online.

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