Clean Wisconsin responds to EPA repeal of Clean Power Plan

Wednesday, 11 Oct, 2017

Bloomberg reported that the EPA will soon ask the public for suggestions on how to curb carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas power plants.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whose philanthropy said it would donate $15 million toward supporting operations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changeafter the Trump administration announced intentions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, tweeted his criticism of the repeal proposal Monday.

"With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health, our climate, and the safety of every community in the United States", Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

Reversing an Obama administration energy regulation will save energy companies $33 billion in compliance costs through 2030-costs that would have otherwise been borne by consumers, senior Trump administration officials said in providing details about scrapping the plan.

The biggest criticism of undoing the plan is that continuing emissions at current levels would not slow down rising global temperatures, which could lead to further consequences that hurt the environment and public health.

Fossil fuels will continue to be a critical component of America's energy future. These requirements, critics argued, would cripple fossil fuel economies, force plant shutdowns and put Americans out of work.

The narrower rule would focus on obtaining efficiency improvements through better heat rates at coal plants - an "inside the fenceline" regulation, rather than a sweeping change to the national power mix.

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"He's proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year", he continued. Twenty-seven states joined the challenge, which is still pending.

The final Clean Power Plan provides guidelines for the development, submittal, and implementation of state plans that establish standards of performance or other measures for affected EGUs in order to implement the interim and final Carbon dioxide emission performance rates. California will, in fact, exceed the goals of the Clean Power Plan. Nevada, Arizona and Utah are already aiming to reduce emissions by 15 to 25 percent by 2025.

It said that the Obama administration misused section 111 of the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has since put the suit on hold while the administration evaluates the CPP in light of Trump's executive order.

The announcement came as no surprise, as Trump promised a repeal on the campaign trail to bring back mining jobs.

"The EPA welcomes comment on the legal interpretation addressed in this proposed rulemaking", wrote the leaked proposal. "We're going to have little tidbits left".

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has pledged to sue the Trump administration over the change, which she says violates the law and imperils the planet.

This story originally appeared in High Country News.