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Trump Power Plant Plan Will Significantly Increase CO2 Pollution
The new plan, as the Washington Post reported, would allow states to set their own coal emission standards or even opt-out altogether, and provides companies incentives to ensure coal plants operate longer. It's a clear contrast to the Obama plan, which was aimed at phasing out coal and transitioning to cleaner power sources to avoid dangerous climate change.
The Trump rule "is projected to release at least 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared with the Obama rule over the next decade," the Post reported. To illustrate how different the plans are, by 2030, the Trump proposal would cut carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 0.7 to 1.5 percent, or the equivalent of taking 2.7 million to 5.3 million cars off the road. In contrast, Obama's initiative had a goal of slashing CO2 emissions around 19 percent in the same time frame, or the equivalent of taking 75 million cars off the road.
"These numbers tell the story, that they really remain committed not to do anything to address greenhouse gas emissions. They show not merely indifference to climate change, but really, opposition to doing anything about climate change," Jose Goffman, executive director of Harvard Law School's Environmental Law Program and an architect of the Obama-era policy, told the Post.
The New York Times reported Sunday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) air office head, William L. Wehrum, was key in developing the power plant plan that would surely please his corporate clients. The former industry lawyer represented a host of coal, oil, gas and chemical companies, and was a George W. Bush-era EPA official.
"They basically found the most aggressive and knowledgeable fox and said, 'Here are the keys to the hen house,'" said Bruce Buckheit, an air pollution expert and the former EPA head of air pollution enforcement for Republican and Democratic administrations, to the Times.
Meanwhile, Michelle Bloodworth, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which advocates on behalf of major U.S. coal producers, said the new rules would "provide the flexibility to states to develop emissions guidelines that recognize the important role that our nation's coal fleet plays," she told Financial Times.
The new measure, which President Trump will reportedly announce Tuesday during a visit to West Virginia, will be subject to a 60-day comment period.
At a New York fundraiser last week, Trump said that coal was an "indestructible" form of energy and once again criticized windmills, according to Newsweek. Saving the flagging coal industry and ending the so-called "war on coal" was a core component of his presidential campaign.
"Coal is indestructible. You can blow up a pipeline, you can blow up the windmills," Trump was heard saying in Utica.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?