Environmentalists are furious that the Trump EPA has followed through with eliminating a key rule that made up Barack Obama’s was on coal.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now finalized its plan to put an end to Obama’s restrictive “Clean Power Plan” and replace it with a new plan called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE).
“The Clean Power Plan never went into effect,” Daily Caller reported. “The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on its implementation in 2016. EPA’s replacement plan, called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, asks states to improve coal plant efficiency.”
“ACE is an important step towards realigning EPA actions so they are consistent with the rule of law and the original mission of the agency,” said Mandy Gunasekara, a former Trump EPA official who worked on ACE.
“While it’s well known that the political team believes this to be the case, it’s not as well known that there are many career officials who are equally relieved with returning to EPA’s traditional approach of regulating under this part of the Clean Air Act,” Gunasekara added.
This is a major loss for the war on the coal industry launched by Barack Obama whose rules tried to force the states to strict emissions rules as a way to address global warming.
Trump’s officials, though, felt that Obama’s absurd and unscientific rules were over-the-top.
“We think that goes beyond EPA’s authority and we cannot do that as a matter of law under the Clean Air Act,” an EPA official said on Wednesday.
As the DC reported:
A coalition of states, businesses and unions challenged the Clean Power Plan in federal court, calling it EPA overreach. President Donald Trump’s EPA agrees with that sentiment. The ACE rule takes a narrower approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (RELATED: Iconic National Parks Are Falling Into Disrepair)
“The rule takes a sensible and legally sound approach to regulating carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s coal fleet,” Michelle Bloodworth, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, said in a statement.
The Clean Power Plan was expected to force more coal power plants and mines to close down, costing thousands of jobs. Nearly 40% coal-fired power capacity has been retired or announced plans to retire, Bloodworth said.
Of course, environmentalists are against the new rule set to replace Obama’s attack on tens of thousands of jobs.
The media was also incensed by the rule change calling it a “roll back” of “sensible” rules. But the EPA bristled at that characterization.
“I don’t see this as a scaling back. I see this as a correction,” the senior EPA official added. “Market forces alone are accomplishing historic change in the power sector.”
AP story this morning leads with the Trump EPA "completing one of the biggest rollbacks of environmental rules," but fails to mention the critical fact that CPP was stayed by the Supreme Court and never implemented and therefore cannot be rolled back. Seems important to readers.
— EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler (@EPAAWheeler) June 19, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.