UPDATED 1:24 PM PT — Wednesday, June 19, 2019
President Trump is promising to give power back to states, the coal industry, and miners as he attempts to un-do another Obama-era key policy.
The Environmental Protection Agency secured the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule Wednesday to limit the federal government’s hold on coal-fired power plants. The goal is to kill Obama-era regulations backing renewable energy sources, which — in turn — has severely hurt the coal industry. President Trump has previously noted Obama’s policy had compromising effects on the coal business and economy.
“I’m getting rid of some of these ridiculous rules and regulations, which are killing our companies, our states, and our jobs,” he stated. “Just today, we announced our new affordable clean energy proposal that will help our coal-fired power plants and save consumers — you, me, everybody — billions and billions of dollars.”
The coal mining industry has reportedly been hit hard recently. A substantial decline in its production has led to high energy costs and less jobs for miners. The roll-back sets out to give the industry a fighting chance.
Specifically, the rule opts out of enforcing states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 32-percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Instead, the rule gives states the authority to regulate their coal-fired power plants on a plant-by-plant basis. They will be able to decide how to control their plant’s release of greenhouse gas emissions, and allows older generators to keep on operating as they “adopt improved” and “more efficient” technology.
The EPA has noted the looser grip will encourage states “to allow utilities to make heat rate improvements in power plants.” The roll-back follows the administration’s message of providing “affordable, clean and reliable energy for all Americans.”