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EPA chief to sign rule on Clean Power Plan exit on Tuesday

10 October, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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It aimed to reduce United States power industry's carbon dioxide pollution levels 32 percent below the 2005 levels by 2030.

Some experts say weakening the Clean Power Plan will not change the fortunes of the coal industry, which has lost significant share of US power generation to cheap, abundant USA natural gas.

A spokeswoman for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declined to comment Friday on the authenticity of the leaked document but said the Obama administration "pushed the bounds of their authority so far" that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay to prevent the Clean Power Plan from taking effect.

"The EPA proposes to take this action because it proposes to determine that the rule exceeds its authority under the statute, that those portions of the rule which arguably do not exceed its authority are not severable and separately implementable, and that it is not appropriate for a rule that exceeds statutory authority - especially a rule of this magnitude and with this level of impact on areas of traditional state regulatory authority - to remain in existence pending a potential, successive rulemaking process", it says.

The EPA has not, as was widely expected, issued a revised, weaker version of the Clean Power Plan. Supporters of the Clean Power Plan will be looking for ways to challenge the Trump administration's moves in court.

Increased efficiency at a coal plant - known as heat-rate improvement - translates into fewer carbon-dioxide emissions per unit of electric power generated.

The Clean Power Plan aimed to dramatically lessen the greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists agree are fueling the planet's rapid warming, contributing to climate change and erratic, unsafe weather patterns. "Slashing climate policy is par for the course in the Trump administration, but we won't let it go unchallenged". Their commitment builds on the more than 40 percent reduction in emissions that the states have already achieved since they launched RGGI, an innovative, first-in-the-nation market to cut carbon pollution, in 2009. He said ending the plan would take pressure off some cash-strapped utilities that still relied on coal-fired power plants. Obama used the CPP as part of his plant to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord.

"When you think about what that rule meant, that rule really was about picking winners and losers". "They are denying it just as they are denying the science".

A 2015 analysis found the combined health and climate benefits of the plan totalled $33 billion a year.

The proposal will start to implement one of Trump's signature campaign promises and a top request by the fossil fuel industry and congressional Republicans to undo the rule.

Obama enacted the plan to cap pollution from power plants.

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