Environment

The Trump Regime’s Clean Power Replacement Will Restrict States’ Rights

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Citing a draft version of the final policy, Politico first reported last week that the Trump regime's replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan would allow states to write their own regulations, but the draft also vaguely stated that states would only be allowed to write "modest" regulations.

The replacement policy is now here and, as the draft indicted, it will restrict states' rights by prohibiting them from adopting stricter regulations.

The new regulation, which Acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed Monday, is called the Affordable Clean Energy rule. It gives states leeway to set their own, drastically lower greenhouse gas emissions targets and restrict what states can do to force coal plants to improve efficiency. [....]

The rule marks one of the most significant rollbacks yet to Barack Obama’s climate legacy, and ― despite the Trump administration’s oft-repeated calls for “regulatory certainty” ― is expected to ignite a yearslong legal battle.

“We’re ending intrusive EPA regulations that kill jobs ... and raise the price of energy so quickly and so substantially,” President Donald Trump said in a statement Tuesday morning.

By the EPA's own calculations, this replacement plan will cause up to 1,400 premature deaths each year by the year 2030. Their own numbers also say it will also contribute to nearly 50,000 extra cases of asthma each year.

So, this is all bad, but on the bright side there's chance this will never became settled law much the same way the Obama-era Clean Power Plan was never settled law. At least 18 to 20 states will probably challenge this policy in court and that number could grow after the midterm election if Democrats successfully retake control of several more governor's mansions.

This is likely to be a long, protracted legal fight; long enough to delay the new rules until a Democratic Congress or president can change it back.

Now, I simply can't let it go so I have to point out that Trump's claim that the Clean Power Plan killed jobs and raised prices is pure hogwash.

The Clean Power Plan was never law so it literally could not kill any jobs or raise prices. The Clean Power Plan was blocked in court two years ago and has remained in that state while Trump's EPA rewrote it.

But you know what will kill jobs and raise energy prices? Trump's dumbass trade war. Trump's tariffs on solar panels and foreign retaliatory tariffs on American energy products are killing jobs. Trump has also proposed tariffs on foreign uranium which will dramatically raise energy prices for most households in the country. Trump's is also still considering a plan to subsidize ancient coal-fired power plants due for retirement by raising prices for everyone else to pay for it.

  • Draxiar
    • Badgerite

      Exactly. There is no down side to switching to clean, alternative energy sources that are available now. Fossil fuels are finite and their replacement will be necessary at some point in the future. To replace them will create a healthier and better world and a more reliable source of energy that is not solely in the control of those countries with large oil reserves. Why wait?
      PS. There is no such thing as “clean coal”. Visit your local coal powered plant and see for yourself the herculean efforts made to try to keep the waste products from crushing and burning coal out of the environment. Six months minimum to putting lining in a waste pond so that it will not leach into the ground water. And there is nothing that can keep the piles of crush coal waiting to be burned to spin the turbines from flying into the air as particular pollution. No such thing as “clean coal”. Mercury, arsenic and coal dust. Wonderful stuff.

      • Draxiar

        I’ve been saying for years that sustainable energy tech is the next industrial revolution and it will be for the world over. We have, as a country, still time to partake in that revolution. Manufacturing jobs? Those can happen. Hand-on trade jobs? Those can happen. Clean air and water? That WILL happen. The human race is breaking up with coal and oil and that industry is begging to still be friends. Most of us know, in our hearts, that won’t actually happen.
        Hillary Clinton’s statement of putting coal mines out of business was actually a reference to the oncoming inevitable shift of energy resources. Furthermore she was concerned about giving coal miners the ability to update their skills and help them because of that shift. She fucking cared about them. It’s infuriating that they saw her as the enemy. And now, coal miners can’t get any coverage for black lung disease due to the fuckwit they voted for and coal plants are still shutting down. The economy of stupidity is fascinating to watch.

  • muselet

    Kevin Drum:

    All this for a power source that’s not competitive anymore and employs hardly anyone. Trump is planning to kill, oh, about 5-10,000 people over the next decade to support an industry that employs fewer than 200,000 people total in mining, transportation, and power generation. That’s right: 200,000. The coal industry is smaller than the marijuana industry—which is at least growing and basically harmless. But Trump is happy to kill off Americans by the thousands just so he can say he overturned an Obama coal plan and replaced it with his own.

    And once again, the Trump administration’s sole guiding principle is demonstrated to be fck Obama!

    –alopecia