Trump EPA coal rule rollback
Environmental Protection Agency proposed another rollback Thursday aimed at easing controls on emissions from coal-fired power plants, this time for new ones, even as warnings mount from the agency’s scientists and others about the growing toll of climate change.
The EPA’s acting administrator signed a proposal that, if approved by the Trump administration after public review, would loosen an Obama-era rule that would have required cutting-edge carbon capture techniques for new coal plants. Andrew Wheeler said the curbs on coal emissions were “excessive burdens” on the industry.
Environmentalists and scientists say this plan and other proposed administration rollbacks on pollutants from fossil fuels run counter to desperately needed efforts to slow climate change.
Thursday’s announcement comes two weeks after a report by the EPA and 12 other federal agencies warned that climate change caused by burning of coal, oil and gas already was worsening natural disasters in the United States, and would cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damage each year by the end of the century.
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.”