Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

EPA cancels three hearings on new vehicle emissions rule

EPA cancels three hearings on new vehicle emissions rule

The Obama administration was working to instate federal regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions and use less coal in favor of clean energy sources.

Consumers Energy has also announced plans to shutter all of its coal-fired plants by 2040, a decision it has said is primarily driven by the cost of upkeep on aging plants and the rising affordability of natural gas and renewable energy. North Dakota has seven coal-fired power plants, he said, and the state ranked ninth in coal production in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In a release, the EPA says the Affordable Clean Energy Rule "empowers states, promotes energy independence, and facilitates economic growth and job creation". McCabe disagrees. She says that even with today's sustainability efforts, the CPP would still have reduced emissions by another 19 percent whereas the EPA estimated this new plan will reduce them by less than two percent.

From 2000 to 2014, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants in Kansas decreased from 1,824 pounds per megawatt hour generated to 1,407 pounds.

While the Trump administration touts ACE as a way to create new jobs and eliminate government regulations, the EPA has found that it could lead to 1,400 premature deaths every year by 2030, in addition to up to 15,000 new cases of upper respiratory problems, a rise in bronchitis, and tens of thousands of missed school days.

Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the Trump administration's plan would likely increase greenhouse gas emissions while doing nothing to change the long-term shift away from coal.

Many analysts view the relaxed legislation as an appeal to the coal industry.

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Those numbers are not addressed in the EPA's new report.

On Tuesday, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said he was pleased with the Trump plan, which he said would "turn back the burdensome and unlawful regulations set out in the Clean Power Plan".

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The plan was the centrepiece in an effort to lower emissions and help meet worldwide climate change goals set out in the Paris agreement, which Trump has pledged to leave.

"The fingerprints of the coal industry are all over this plan", Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. Second, it gives states greater authority in meeting emissions targets for their respective power plans. "We feel like the EPA proposal now is based on a correct reading of the Clean Air Act".

While coal accounts for about one-third of USA electricity production, the power industry has already in recent years shifted from coal to cleaner natural gas and renewables due to cheaper prices. There also is a dichotomy in the administration's insistence upon state control while at the same time it opposes the rights of states to set their own fuel-mileage standards for automobiles or their own laws regarding recreational marijuana. That will hasten climate change along with their copious carbon pollution and endanger public health with soot and particulate matter emissions. To put this in context, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the worldwide body for evaluating the science on the sources and impacts of climate change, estimates that developed countries like the United States will have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by some 80 percent by 2050, relative to a 2005 baseline.

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