USA plan for coal power deregulation could cause more deaths

EPA: Trump's easing of coal rules could kill 1,400 people per year

EPA: Trump's easing of coal rules could kill 1,400 people per year

Earlier this week, on August 21, President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") proposed a rule pursuant to Section 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act ("CAA") meant to replace the embattled Clean Power Plan ("CPP") issued by President Obama's administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released the new Affordable Clean Energy rule - distinctive from the Clean Power Plan of the Obama years in how it defers any rule-making to the states.

New Trump administration rules aimed at protecting the coal industry reverse Obama-era regulations on greenhouse gases by letting states set their own rules.

Under the Trump plan, EPA aims to make power plants more efficient to meet emissions goals. The Clean Power Plan's emission limits for existing plants is expected to eliminate as much carbon pollution as is emitted by more than 160 million cars a year - or 70 percent of the nation's passenger cars.

"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.

Michelle Bloodworth, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a trade group that represents coal producers, called the new rule a marked departure from the "gross overreach" of the Obama administration and said it should prevent a host of premature coal-plant retirements. And the CPP not only reduced carbon emissions behind climate change, it would have led to big cuts in pollutants that harm health, including particulates, nitrogen oxides and mercury, all of which come from coal-fired power plants.

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The president trumpeted the plan at a rally late Tuesday in the coal-producing state of West Virginia.

Assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum told reporters on Tuesday that the short-term, rate-based test aligns the New Source Review programme with other EPA standards.

"We are choking on the smoke from forest fires", Inslee said on a day when air quality levels remained poor across the state. "Given the magnitude of the problem with climate change and the magnitude of the solution that we need, it's really concerning that we are looking to the states as opposed to having federal leadership, which is really what we need". Critics say it is a blow to clean air.

It also acknowledged that the increased emissions from aging coal-fired plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the country billions of dollars. That regulatory program requires facilities to undergo additional permitting and add pollution controls when upgrades would create significantly more emissions.

Nebraska, whose power generation relies heavily on fossil fuels, was among the states that filed a lawsuit challenging the Clean Power Plan. Rather than overstepping its role, the government will work with the states and give them the flexibility to set standards. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome".

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