EPA Announces Another Give Away to Coal Industry

New EPA proposal aimed at helping coal industry

New EPA proposal aimed at helping coal industry

The latest Trump administration targeting of legacy Obama administration efforts to slow climate change comes in the wake of multiplying warnings from the agency's scientists and others about the accelerating pace of global warming.

It's unclear whether the new policy boost will overcome market forces that are making US coal plants ever more unprofitable.

The proposal eases an Obama-era rule that said new power plants had to include equipment to limit and capture carbon dioxide emissions - a regulation which industry groups said was burdensome and essentially blocked any new plants.

"Acting Administrator Wheeler today continued the Trump administration's shameful rampage against climate and clean energy policies".

"Make no mistake: This move will not bring the coal industry back no matter what President Trump tries to say".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the EPA's action Thursday was "targeting another regulation that would have made it almost impossible to build any new plants".

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signs an order withdrawing an Obama era emissions standards policy, at the EPA Headquarters in Washington. "We're not trying to pick winners and losers".

Democrats responded immediately saying the proposal shows the Trump administration's priority is the coal industry and not the environment.

New EPA proposal aimed at helping coal industry

"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. Burke said companies would need subsidies in the form of tax incentives and loan guarantees. Sen.

Xcel Energy added to that trend this week, committing to eliminate carbon emissions from its power generation by 2050 as it moves to replace coal with wind and solar resources across its eight-state service area. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a statement.

A panel of United Nations scientists said in a recent report that coal and gas plants still operating need to be equipped with carbon-capture technologies to achieve the reduction in carbon emissions necessary for keeping the world under 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming past preindustrial levels.

The EPA has already moved to rescind Obama-era rules on carbon and mercury emissions from existing and modified generators, as well as regulations on coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal.

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.

"By replacing onerous regulations with high, yet achievable, standards, we can continue America's historic energy production, keep energy prices affordable, and encourage new investments in cutting-edge technology that can then be exported around the world". "They've been giving nothing but this signal with rule after rule after rule".

The announcement follows a recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report showing that domestic coal use will sink to a 39-year low this year, largely due to a drop in its use for generating electricity. The U.S. government lists only two major coal-fired power plants scheduled to come online over the next five years, with more than 70 scheduled to retire over the same period. The agency said that the use of coal by the USA power sector will drop by 4 percent, or 691 million short tons, during 2018.