A move by President Donald Trump's administration to get rid of the Clean Power Plan has some people in DE concerned about increased downwind greenhouse gas emissions from other states. While the ACE rule proposal is likely to be welcomed by coal energy producers, a large degree of uncertainty remains as key stakeholders, including environmental groups, industry leaders, and state regulators, continue to monitor and attempt to influence the final rule.
The Clean Power Plan is the culmination of a decade-long effort to partner with states and cities to require mandatory cuts in the emissions of climate change pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants under the Clean Air Act.
All of the EPA's models project that the new rule will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to current levels. Unlike the CPP, however, the ACE Rule seeks to accomplish reductions primarily through efficiency improvements that directly impact coal-fired power plants rather transitioning power reliance to new natural gas and renewable energy sources. It would give states the right to set their own emission standards and would promote investments to make coal plants "cleaner, modern and more efficient".
"I commend President Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for working to reestablish cooperation between states and the federal government to attain American energy security and to meet our environmental goals", said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the EPA.
The EPA says the ACE Rule will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide $400 million in net benefits, but a climate expert told the Associated Press that the plan "probably will make emissions worse".
The Affordable Clean Energy rule is created to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The agency also expects its rule change to result in as many as 96,000 more cases of exacerbated asthma in 2030, as well as 48,000 more lost work days, 140,000 more lost school days and 26,000 more cases of upper and lower respiratory symptoms.
Many analysts view the relaxed legislation as an appeal to the coal industry.
President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan in August 2015.
"Now they can go back and revisit and determine if the coal plant running into the future is more economical and in the best interest of the ratepayer", he says. "Climate change is real", McCarthy said.
"A coal plant that operates more efficiently may be called upon to run more hours, increasing the total amount of Carbon dioxide emitted overall", Lissa Lynch, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. "So, this proposal represents the Trump administration literally turning its back on reality". Coal-fired power plants, which have been shutting down in record numbers because of tighter regulations and competition from natural gas and alternative fuels, would get a reprieve. Washingtonians deserve clean air to breathe. Texas sued over that Obama-era plan to curb carbon emissions, calling it federal overreach.
Trump has vowed to end what Republicans call a "war on coal" waged by Obama.