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The Environmental Protection Agency has officially repealed and replaced the never-implemented Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal, in a move that is largely seen as a lifeline to the precarious coal industry that has been pressured both by cheap natural gas and environmental pushback.
The new plan seeks to regulate each power plant on a case-by-case basis, instead of holding the entire industry to a single standard. It would give power plants more time to decrease emissions while continuing to operate.
The repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan is another campaign promise made by President Donald Trump in an effort to throw his support toward the coal industry, and it’s an important one. Obama’s CPP would have resulted in a number of coal plants shutting down, and could have essentially overhauled the entire energy sector. The CPP was stayed by the Supreme Court.
“Under the CPP, the EPA Obama administration went beyond implementing best technology,” a senior EPA official said on a call with reporters on Wednesday, according to The Hill, adding that the CPP imposed emission reductions beyond what it had the authority to do. The Trump administration has long held that not only did the EPA overreach in this case, that it picked winners and losers in the industry.
The rollback of the emission regulations could mean that individual coal plants could increase emissions, but the EPA stated that overall emissions would still drop over time.
The new rule, which critics say is a step backward and doesn’t go far enough to curb emissions, essentially gives states three years to come up with a plan to curb emissions standards, with an extra year for the EPA to review those plans.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.