President Donald Trump has come up with a new regulation to help strengthen the coal industry so that it could gain back its market spot. This regulation, however, would overrule former President Barack Obama’s policy over climate change.
Amendment Of The Affordable Clean Energy Rule
Announced on Wednesday, the new plan involves amendment of the Affordable Clean Energy rule by the Environmental Protection Agency. This move would help support the coal industry. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it would stop the further dissolution of various coal-fiber plants. This move ratifies the Clean Power Plant – Obama’s key policy addressing climate change focused on suppressing greenhouse gas emission.
Under Obama’s era, there were state wise standards set on emissions of carbon dioxide. Trump’s rule, on the other hand, would set it on a more individual level, based on the megawatt of electricity generated by the plants, thus, in turn, increases the efficiency and productivity of these firms.
The rule would set free the plants and industry from the shackles of restrained carbon dioxide emission greatly benefitting the coal industry which is the biggest emitter of CO2. This would, of course, mean, increased soot and smog emissions leading to higher percentages of premature deaths and respiratory problems.
Obama’s Clean Power Plant
The coal industry, which had quite vehemently blamed Obama’s Clean Power Plant for its gradual decline, are now quite enthusiastic with the chance to compete with the other cheaper energy generating sources like wind or solar. Many, including energy experts, argue that the new policy would not be able to help the coal industry bounce back.
Furthermore, the demand for coal started falling well-before the implementation of Obama’s rule. According to them, people are already more comfortable with the cheaper and renewable clean sources of energy, and in such a scenario, the lost foothold of the coal industry is very difficult, if not impossible.
Trump’s new rule would face many challenges and oppositions, which include several environmentalists. The new rule also includes various climate-conscious states. The administration would have to work twice as hard to gain supporters for the new rule.
This considers the obligation to regulate the greenhouse gas emission under the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Task Force advocacy director believes it to be just another unlawful preferential treatment being provided to the coal industry under the false name of climate rule.