ACCCE praises EPA for proposed Clean Power Plan replacement rule

24 August, 2018, 03:40 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Daniel Acker  Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today asserted that President Trump's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to restore the rights of states to regulate carbon emissions should protect Mississippians from threatened power plant closings and rate hikes under Obama-era regulations.

Despite the departure of Trump's EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, a notorious anti-environmental crusader who resigned in July amid repeated accusations of graft and public corruption, there is no indication the agency will show any renewed dedication to public health. The Trump EPA estimates that, by 2030, there will be an additional, for example, between 470 and 1,400 deaths a year as a result of an uptick in those traditional pollutants.

The CPP, which Obama's EPA finalized in 2015, sought to reduce emissions from power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

"This proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan will make our efforts to reduce carbon pollution more hard, and will remove a strong incentive for state and federal governments to work together to clean up our air". 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.

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The new rule could reduce the emissions advantages of electric cars by allowing more "dirty" power plants to provide the energy that electric-car drivers use to recharge.

In a press conference on Tuesday, EPA officials said every plan will be approved by the EPA, but that there's "no lower limit" that states have to set their emissions standards above.

Michelle Bloodworth, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal lobby group, welcomed the EPA plan. The Clean Power Plan was blocked by court battles in 2016, as many Republican attorneys general thought the federal government was overstepping its power.

From 2000 to 2014, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants in Kansas decreased from 1,824 pounds per megawatt hour generated to 1,407 pounds.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal would require states to submit plans for improving efficiency of coal-fired power plants.

"EPA is not denying that climate change is happening or EPA's obligation to address the harmful health impacts of carbon pollution that's fueling climate change", says Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA under President Obama.

Sherman said it's too early to discuss details about the state's legal challenge but they'll likely argue, among other things, that the EPA is acting beyond its authority under the Clean Air Act and contrary to science and facts. "(The Trump plan) really is halting progress and putting pollution back into the air". 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.

Attorney General Counsel Bill Sherman says they will sue in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals if the administration moves forward with the roll back. Gov. Jim Justice said the rule was "a big win for West Virginia".

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Duke does "appreciate EPA's efforts to propose a regulation that fits within the agency's statutory authority while recognizing the important role our states play in generation planning", but it's committed to reducing 2030 Carbon dioxide emissions by 40% from 2005 levels.

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