EPA chief signing death warrant for Obama Clean Power Plan

Chester Higgins  Documerica

Say goodbye to the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration's landmark rule to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Walton added that significant environmental controls are in place at Bruce Mansfield, but FirstEnergy hasn't yet made any new upgrades to comply with the Clean Power Plan because "that regulation has been challenged in court and was not yet in effect".

LUDDEN: Now, more than two dozen states actually sued over that plan, including Pruitt when he was Oklahoma's attorney general.

Although there may be some legal basis for this argument, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is the EPA's duty to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Some of the other climate related projects that Trump has proposed to eliminate are Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that coordinates global climate research, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that forms the basis of worldwide climate negotiations like the Paris Agreement as well as climate programs at agencies like the State Department and the U.S. Agency for worldwide Development.

But, while some environmental groups decried the rollback as an affront to climate change policy, others said deregulation will not be enough to save an industry that is no longer viable.

Other critics agree that the original regulation was broader than it needed to be, but they call for a more limited policy on greenhouse gas emissions to be implemented. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has since put the suit on hold while the administration evaluates the CPP in light of Trump's executive order.

The plan pushed all power plants in the U.S.to cut carbon emissions by roughly 30 percent of 2005 levels. States not in compliance would have plans imposed upon them by the EPA. Previously, the EPA estimated that the Clean Power Plan would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks, 300,000 missed work and school days, and 3,600 premature deaths annually by 2030.[1] These health impacts of climate change disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income families.

Coal-fired power plants generate roughly 40 percent of the electricity globally, but generate more than 70 percent of the carbon dioxide, according to the International Energy Agency.

Today's move to dismantle the CPP is just the latest step toward fulfilling Trump's campaign promise regarding the EPA: "The Department of Environmental Protection-we're going to get rid of it in nearly every form". Attorneys general multiple states - California, New York and MA among them - vowed to challenge the Trump administration's decision. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scrapping it. The final Clean Power Plan reflects that input and gives states and utilities time to preserve ample, reliable and affordable power for all Americans. But really the biggest threat to coal plants has not been government regulation.

"It does not feel like an effort to refresh the cost-benefit analysis to make sure it's on the frontiers of science", Greenstone said about the leaked proposal.

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