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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
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.
When Paris's Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, the flames threatened more than eight centuries of culture and history. The fire evoked shock, horror and grief worldwide. While the cathedral burned, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed determination to rebuild what the French regard as a sacred site.
By Andrea Germanos
Lawyer and visionary thinker Polly Higgins, who campaigned for ecocide to be internationally recognized as a crime on par with genocide and war crimes, died Sunday at the age of 50.
She had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer last month and given just weeks to live.
The world's first malaria vaccine was launched in Malawi on Tuesday, NPR reported. It's an important day in health history. Not only is it the first malaria vaccine, it's the first vaccine to target any human parasite.