Trump’s EPA has proposed a new rule for coal-fired power plants to overhaul Obama’s climate change rule that crippled the coal industry. Politico reports that the proposed rule guts the sweeping Obama-era climate change regulations. It also blocks a future Democrat president from restoring it.
President Trump turned more power over to the states.
THE RULE WAS MEANT TO QUICKLY DESTROY COAL PLANTS
In 2013, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy officially proposed the first-ever regulations limiting future power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions including standards that required coal-burning plants to capture about 40% of their carbon dioxide emissions.
One rule made it nearly impossible to open a new plant. Another rule was aimed at closing down most or all of the thousands of existing power plants.
McCarthy falsely stated that new technology would permit coal-fired plants to open up and stay open. In fact, the new technology was unusable and still is. More than 140 coal-fired plants announced that they were shutting down.
The emerging technology McCarthy was talking about is so expensive and so inadequate that it effectively bans the building of coal plants.
OBAMA WAS NATIONALIZING A PORTION OF OUR ENERGY SECTOR
Obama was essentially nationalizing much of our energy sector by abusing the power of his agencies.
The Obama rule was destroying the coal industry as intended. The former president was regulating coal out of existence.
The rule redefined the Clean Air Act in ways the original sponsors never intended.
It required the states to cut greenhouse gas pollution from the power sector. The new Trump rule gives states more leeway to meet more modest climate goals or to opt out.
The extreme Obama rule was likely unconstitutional, at least that was the argument used by the states who filed suit. Whether this one is or not is unclear.
The government agency overreach was one issue, but another issue was the speed with which it was being implemented. There was no opportunity for coal companies to meet the standards. It also had serious economic repercussions for many states.