The Trump administration is moving ahead with a plan to roll back an Obama administration rule created to curb power plants' greenhouse gas emissions. The AP also reported that the EPA is expected to declare that the rule - a centerpiece of the Obama administration's environmental policies - exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.
Green groups criticized Monday's announcement and praised the plan, a collection of emissions standards for USA states that the Obama administration imposed to reduce pollution from power plants - the largest emitters of greenhouse gases - by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Under the CPP, states must develop and implement plans that ensure power plants in their state - either as single plants or as a collective group - achieve goals for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions between 2022 and 2029, and final CO2 emission performance rates by 2030.
Some experts say weakening the Clean Power Plan will not change the fortunes of the coal industry, which has lost significant share of US power generation to cheap, abundant USA natural gas. Utilities shelved coal projects in preparation of the rule, and coal-fired facilities were scheduled to shut down because it would be virtually impossible for them to comply with the emissions mandates and remain financially viable.
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The EPA said it has not yet determined whether or when it will propose a new rule to regulate emissions from existing power plants. In the past decade, the Supreme Court has ruled that the government must put a plan in place to live up to the Clean Air Act three separate times.
Repealing the Clean Power Plan makes it less likely that the United States can fulfill its Paris climate agreement commitment to reduce emissions that are warming the planet and contributing to heat waves and sea-level rise, according to the New York Times. It's pretty embarrassing that they don't actually have a different plan ready to go, they just see something that's good for the environment and want to destroy it.
When asked earlier this year on Fox News about the health consequences of doing away with the Clean Power Plan, Pruitt ducked the question and focused on how the plan would cost jobs.
Many coal plants closed down and thousands of miners lost their jobs.
In February, he nixed a rule that stopped mining companies from dumping waste into streams, and in March, Pruitt said he would stop collecting methane emissions from 15,000 oil and gas operations. A leaked copy of the EPA's repeal argues that the usa would save $33 billion by not complying with the regulation, and that it doesn't provide significant health benefits, as the Obama administration claimed.