President Donald Trump's administration on Tuesday announced a plan to weaken regulations on United States coal plants, giving a boost to an industry that former leader Barack Obama had hoped to wind down in order to cut harmful emissions that drive global warming.
"Acting EPA Administrator [Andrew] Wheeler addressed this in saying there are already rules and regulations in place, that when properly enforced, give them the tools they need to make sure ultimately our environment is being protected", said Avella. But the EPA also estimates the extra pollutant from the rule could prematurely kill up to 1,400 people per year by 2030.
Even if you're not anxious about being one of the estimated 1,400 Americans or 224 Texans who will die annually if the Trump administration replaces the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, chances are you know or have a family member who has asthma. The proposed rule is far narrower than the Obama plan, which sought to cut emissions across the power sector rather than only at individual plants.
The president is due to trumpet the new plan as he rallies supporters Tuesday night in the coal-producing state of West Virginia. The U.S. Supreme Court put those regulations on hold in response to the legal challenge. And a new report by West Virginia University forecasts coal production in the state will level out during the next two years and decline sharply during the next two decades.
It is in the situation the agency considers most likely to occur where the premature death toll would increase, as would heart and lung disease and chronic problems like asthma and bronchitis.
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IN has 16 coal-fired power plants, and gets more than 70 percent of its power from coal. "So, this proposal represents the Trump administration literally turning its back on reality".
Environmental groups warned the focus on improving efficiency of coal-fired generators could raise overall carbon emissions. The US is not on track to emission reduction targets set during the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (nor are other major industrialized countries).
But, proponents of the Affordable Clean Energy plan note that it will allow states to decide what environmental decisions are best for them, setting their own limits on the release of carbon dioxide and other materials. The earlier rule never went into effect after legal challenges but would have required North Dakota to cut carbon dioxide emissions by almost 45 percent by 2030, causing concern among utility executives. The VanEck Coal Vectors ETF (KOL) is up 7% in the past year even as us coal production and exports have continued to fall under President Trump. Trump said, "We are putting our great coal miners back to work". "It's a win for America", he said.
Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, acknowledged there would be collateral effects on conventional pollutants, but stressed the agency will continue addressing that through other regulations. That will hasten climate change along with their copious carbon pollution and endanger public health with soot and particulate matter emissions. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome".