By Replacing Obama’s Clean Energy Rules, Trump Threatens Us All

Why would anyone want to do this?

The Trump administration on Wednesday replaced former President Barack Obama’s effort to reduce planet-warming pollution from coal plants with a new rule that would allow plants to stay open longer and slow progress on cutting carbon emissions.

Even the name the Trump administration has given this travesty is an effort to troll its political opponents.

“The Affordable Clean Energy rule gives states the regulatory certainty they need to continue to reduce emissions and provide affordable energy to all Americans,” Andrew Wheeler, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, said Wednesday as he introduced the new measure.

Get it? The Democrats called it the “Affordable” Care Act, so they call this the “Affordable” Clean Energy rule. It should be called the Climate Change Denial rule. It’s not even really a rule.

While it instructs states to reduce emissions, the new measure sets no targets. Instead, it gives states broad latitude to decide how much carbon reduction they consider reasonable and suggests ways to improve efficiency at individual power plants.

It’s just stupid and immoral.

Mr. Wheeler also said the rule could lead to new coal plants in the United States. “I don’t know who is going to invest in a new coal fired power plant, but we’re leveling the playing field to allow that investment to occur,” he said.

But don’t just take my word for this:

An early Trump administration analysis of its own plan also found that it would lead to hundreds more premature deaths and hospitalizations because of that increased air pollution.

Other than dirty energy industry leaders, the United Mine Workers, and some clueless fanboys of Fox News, no one is happy with these changes. The new rules will let carbon-emitting plants operate longer even when they’re more efficient, leading to an overall increase in climate change. More people will die prematurely due to dirtier air and water. Momentum for innovation will be lost, along with any competitive advantage America might gain by leading the way on cleaner energy.

And maybe the worst part is that Trump officials say they have to implement this plan to satisfy the same conservative Supreme Court that they’re responsible for creating with their Merrick Garland nonsense.

Mr. Wheeler said that the Obama administration overreached its authority with its rule, Clean Power Plan, which was suspended by the Supreme Court after challenges from 28 states and hundreds of companies.

Nonetheless, the new rule will get its own challenges in Court, but the only real remedy is to elect a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com