The Trump administration announced new plans Tuesday to roll back and replace Obama-era regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants – a move praised by the coal industry as a job saver but panned by critics as a green-light to polluters. The newly unveiled Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, as it’s called, would give states broad authority to determine how to restrict carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. It’s meant as a replacement to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that sought to speed up the closure of coal-burning power plants and cut back on greenhouse gases by cutting carbon dioxide emissions and encouraging utilities to invest in cleaner energy sources like wind and solar. “The ACE Rule would restore the rule of law and empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide modern, reliable, and affordable energy for all Americans,” Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. “Today’s proposal provides the states and regulated community the certainty they need to continue environmental progress while fulfilling President Trump’s goal of energy dominance.” The effort is part of Trump’s overall bid to roll back regulations and help the struggling coal sector in particular. He is likely to highlight the plan at a rally in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday evening. While the Obama administration and Democrats saw the Clean Power Plan as a crucial component in international efforts to curb global warming, Republicans have long claimed those regulations went too far and were too costly. From the start of President Trump’s administration, his Environmental Protection Agency has been working to overhaul the program. “An important part of what we are doing here is getting us back in our lane — we believe the CPP went beyond the EPA’s legal authority in many ways,” EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum said during a press call on Tuesday. “We think we are on very firm legal ground — much more so than the CPP was.” Without making a specific reference to the EPA proposal, Trump tweeted Tuesday that he’s “done so much for West Virginia” as he teased the rally, adding: “CLEAN COAL!!!!” The new plan would let states set performance standards for existing coal-fired power plants, providing them with a list of “candidate technologies” that can be used to draft their plans. The proposal would let states relax pollution rules for power plants that need upgrades, according to a summary reviewed by The Associated Press.
This is nowhere near enough.. BUT, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Kudos to President Trump and his administration for putting American energy, jobs, and common sense ahead of trendy political correctness. Excellent!! 🙂