Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Coal Stocks Could Lose Steam Despite Trump’s Rules Rollback

Coal Stocks Could Lose Steam Despite Trump’s Rules Rollback

The EPA Tuesday morning formally unveiled the details of its new plan to devolve regulation of coal-fired power plants back to the states, one that is expected to give a boost to the coal industry and increase carbon emissions nationwide.

Alana Austin, of the Gray D.C. Bureau, interviews the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, about the new standards for states. The EPA says should all states adopt these new efficiencies - it's unlikely all will - emissions will go down by around 1% by 2030.

The move would dismantle a signature piece of President Barack Obama's efforts to address climate change.

Clarification: This story has been clarified to reflect that Rocky Mountain Power would keep coal plants online longer if it fits into their long-term plans and state regulators permit it.

Trump will tout his new proposals Tuesday night in West Virginia, where Republicans are vying to wrench a hotly contested Senate seat from Democrat Sen.

The Trump administration on Tuesday moved to prop up the declining coal industry with an overhaul of Obama-era pollution rules, acknowledging that the increased emissions from aging coal-fired plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the country billions of dollars. American utilities would save roughly $400 million a year under the new rule.

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The EPA said price of electricity is expected to drop by a half a percent at the most by 2025 under the new rule.

"The plan calls for only modest efficiency improvements at individual power plants, which will barely make a dent in cutting heat-trapping emissions from the electricity sector, and could even, under some circumstances, lead to increased emissions depending on how much the plants are run", said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "The administration is skating on very thin ice with this proposal", Revesz said.

After all, she says that the market largely drove coal's decline, not environmental laws.

The EPA said its Affordable Clean Energy rule "empowers states, promotes energy independence and facilitates economic growth and job creation".

Conrad Schneider, advocacy director of the Clean Air Task Force, said the plan shows the Trump administration "cares more about extending the lives of coal plants than the American people". The measure set emissions reduction standards on a state-by-state basis and allowed state officials to come up where their own plans to meet the federally defined goal with most states doing so by moving from coal to natural gas. Jerry Brown. Meanwhile, a dozen states that support Obama-era regulations vow to file court challenges to the changes. About 93% of the coal produced in the U.S.is used in power plants. "It's a win for America", he said. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome". He said the coal industry is working on technology to capture carbon dioxide, a main driver of climate change, but it's not yet commercially viable.

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