Trump emissions plan could dirty Minnesota's air, but energy transition continues

Trump emissions plan could dirty Minnesota's air, but energy transition continues

Trump emissions plan could dirty Minnesota's air, but energy transition continues

President Donald Trump's administration released a plan today to regulate carbon dioxide emissions at power plants, undercutting a much broader effort by former President Barack Obama to slash planet-warming gases.

The new proposal establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing any plans to limit climate-changing emissions from power plants. Trump's acting replacement for Pruitt, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist. Earlier this month, the administration announced a change to vehicle emissions standards that will allow them to emit more. Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper tweeted: "Wildfires burning all over the world - smoke everywhere - and President Trump wants to burn more coal with fewer clean air protections by dropping the Clean Power Plan".

The effort to re-write the plan is the latest move by Trump administration to roll back environmental rules put in place by Obama.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule "worse than nothing". "This dirty power plan is riddled with gimmicks and giveaways". At the same time, it also eliminates a longstanding rule that forced plants to install new pollution controls whenever they undertake major renovations.

"It's really all about playing to their base, not doing their job to protect public health", McCarthy told CNN's Alisyn Camerota Tuesday morning on "New Day".

In that scenario, the Trump E.P.A. predicts its plan will see between 470 and 1,400 premature deaths annually by 2030 because of increased rates of microscopic airborne particulates known as PM 2.5, which are unsafe because of their link to heart and lung disease as well as their ability to trigger chronic problems like asthma and bronchitis.

Obama's plan was created to cut US carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

A new plan announced Tuesday by the Trump administration to turn the regulations of carbon emissions over to individual states won't likely affect the way Minnesota gets its power in the future. The agency also forecasts a modest, potentially 0.5 per cent reduction in retail electricity prices.

"What we're doing is moving forward in a measured approach to reduce Carbon dioxide in the long-term and provide cheaper electricity for all Americans", Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told FOX Business' Liz Claman on Tuesday.

Legal challenges are certain to follow, testing how a plan that barely reduces greenhouse gas emissions (if at all) can possibly qualify as the "best system of emissions reduction".

But that still might not be enough to dramatically alter the landscape for US coal, which is losing USA customers as utilities increasingly turn to natural gas and renewable power to generate electricity.

My daughter went back to school here in West Virginia this week, so maybe that's why, as Trump comes to my home state tonight to once again peddle his false promises of reviving coal by scrapping the Clean Power Plan, I'm reminded of the childhood game "two truths and a lie".

The Affordable Clean Energy rule would formally overturn President Obama's signature Clean Power Plan, although that plan was never implemented after the Supreme Court issued a stay in response to petitions from state attorneys general and from power providers.

Or, as the Trump plan euphemistically describes it, the plan will lead to "Forgone Human Health Ancillary Co-Benefits".

Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler praised the decision.

Klee said he hopes CT eventually takes legal action as a state or as part of a group, after the various comment periods for this proposed rule change are exhausted. "It also embraces American innovation, by encouraging plant upgrades", he said in a statement.

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