EPA Moves to Scrap Obama Mandates for Power Plant Emissions


The Environmental Protection Agency accelerated the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda Tuesday by announcing a proposed rule to replace the Obama administration’s “Clean Power Plan” with guidelines that give states more flexibility to determine how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule rejects what acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler described in a conference call as the Clean Power Plan’s “top-down, one-size-fits-all” approach.

Instead, President Donald Trump’s administration embraces an alternative strategy, rooted in federalism, that allows states to reduce carbon emissions while providing their residents with reliable, affordable energy.

“The era of top-down, one-size-fits-all federal mandates is over,” Wheeler said.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan, finalized in August 2015, set out to curtail carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants for the purpose of combating climate change.

However, the Trump administration views the Obama administration plan as an overreach of the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act of 1970, which requires the agency to set “national ambient air quality standards for certain common and widespread pollutants based on the latest science.”

“Replacing this disastrous plan with a more rational standard and empowering states in this effort is a welcome shift away from the Obama-era standards that would …read more