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Trump Targets Pair of Obama-era Green Rules to Boost Oil, Coal

09 December 2018

"Today's actions reflect our approach of defining new, clean coal standards by data and the latest technological information, not wishful thinking", he said in a statement. President Donald Trump vowed during his campaign to shore up the coal industry, which has been facing competition in the past decade from cheaper and more plentiful natural gas.

Trump "talks tough to the coal miners to get their support, but he doesn't deliver for them, and I don't think that he can, because the markets are bigger than him", said Joe Pizarchik, who directed the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement in the Obama administration. Moreover, Holmstead said, there has never been an application for modifying or reconstructing a plant under the section of the Clean Air Act the rule is based upon.

The new rule would allow new coal plants to emit up to 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, up from 1,400 pounds now. "Improving the average efficiency rate of coal-fired power plants from 33 percent to 40 percent by using the advanced high efficiency, low emissions technology that exists could cut USA coal-plant emissions by up to 21 percent", said Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for the trade association.

In recent years it has stopped building new plants and been shutting down old ones instead. Burke said companies would need subsidies in the form of tax incentives and loan guarantees. Sen.

Despite some fiery rhetoric from president Donald Trump in support of the domestic coal industry, there is now only a single coal-fire plant under construction, with several other projects mothballed.

Asked about easing the way for new coal plants in the context of the harm from coal pollution on humans and the environment, Wheeler said "having cheap electricity helps human health".

Steam rises from a pile of coal at a mine in Bishop West Virginia
Steam rises from a pile of coal at a mine in Bishop West Virginia

Renewable resources like wind and solar power have also been growing in use, cutting into the energy market that coal once dominated.

"Today's announcement is another attempt by the Trump Administration to prop up the coal industry at a time when carbon emissions worldwide are reaching record levels", Pallone said in a statement.

It's been less than a week since we got that massive EPA climate assessment warning us how bad things are going to get in this country if we do not address the problem of climate change.

McCabe called the emissions standards set during her watch "appropriate", and said the Trump administration will likely have to defend in court its reasons for easing them. "With this decision, this EPA is willfully choosing to ignore the clear science on climate change, put our health at risk and hamper our economy", said Carper. "They've been giving nothing but this signal with rule after rule after rule". U.S. Energy Information Administration figures show that domestic coal use will sink to a 39-year low in 2018. There's one bright spot in all this and it is that coal demand in the United States has fallen by 40 percent, 40 percent because it's outdated, it's dirty, and it's less efficient, so even though they're repealing this rule and putting their new let's pollute more rule in place, there actually are no new coal fired power plants that this rule could apply to at least as it stands right now.

The federal Energy Information Administration reports US coal consumption has declined over the last decade and this year is expected to be at its lowest level in 39 years. Another 22.9 gigawatts of coal plants are already scheduled for shutdown by 2024.

White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to step down soon
But each time the two have decided to make amends, even as Kelly's influence has waned. The retired Marine Corps general has spent 16months in the position.

Trump Targets Pair of Obama-era Green Rules to Boost Oil, Coal