The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era rules on climate change regulation limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants in the United States, making it easier to build new ones.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan, announced Thursday, would no longer mandate that plants meet the strict emissions goals of achieving emissions equal to or less than what plants would have achieved with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
Under the proposed revisions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), EPA would let new coal plants emit up to 1,900 pounds (862 kg) of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity. The rule would replace the Obama-era standard allowing only 1,400 pounds of carbon per megawatt-hour.
EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum called the old rule “wishful thinking.”
“Today’s actions reflect our approach of defining new, clean coal standards by data and the latest technological information, not wishful thinking,” he said in a statement.
“U.S. coal-fired power will be a part of our energy future and our revised standards will ensure that the emissions profiles of new plants continue to improve.”
The announcement follows a recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report showing that domestic coal use will sink to a 39-year low this year, largely due to a drop in its use for generating electricity.
Only one, relatively small, new coal-fired generator is expected to come online by the end of 2019, the EIA said.
According to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, power plant operators have either shut down or announced plans to close at least 630 coal plants in 43 states in the last eight years. That’s about 40% of the U.S. coal fleet, the trade group says.
EPA’s move comes as the world gathers in Poland for what is being dubbed the most important meeting on climate change since the 2015 Paris Agreement, which President Donald Trump has criticized repeatedly.
It also follows the US push to edit a G20 communique by adding a paragraph emphasizing that the US “reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment.”
Janet McCabe, who served as the EPA’s acting assistant administrator for Office of Air and Radiation during the Obama administration and helped shape the existing rule told MINING.com the EPA’s proposal was just one more step the Trump administration was taking that shows “a complete disregard for public health and the health of the planet, in favour of what appears here to be a pretty elusive goal.”
McCabe called the emissions standards set during her watch “appropriate” and said the current administration will likely have to defend in court its reasons for easing them.
“Today’s proposal is nothing more than another thoughtless attempt by the Trump Administration to prop up their backwards and false narrative about reviving coal at the expense of science, public safety, and reality,” Mary Anne Hitt, senior director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, said in a statement.
The proposed modifications are Trump’s latest attempt to fulfill campaign promises to revive the coal industry and restore mining jobs. But experts believe they are unlikely to dramatically alter the US power mix or give a big boost to domestic coal demand, which has flagged amid competition from cheap natural gas and renewables.
Gas has replaced coal for power in the US because it is a bi product of the directional drilling and fracking revolution. Punitive taxes against carbon energy have also of course not helped. But will this cost advantage for gas last forever? Well in Australia progressive Governments would not have even let it start with their unfounded bans on fracking. But in the US, so long as the playing field is kept level, there will come a time when the cost balance for mining/extracting energy will swing back in favour of coal and the king will return.
But long before this time is reached, the lies about the effect which carbon dioxide has on climate will be fully exposed. There is only so much crying wolf that the public will absorb before calling out the money addicted scoundrels of the climate community and the main stream media who support them. Shame again mining dot com for trying to support this scam.
My god responsible mom and dad, it’s the Republican Trump era, can’t you understand there is something far more important than your children’s health and future, money. How are the money idolaters going to ever make
short sighted short term profit gains at your family’s expense in THEIR lifetimes if they don’t rake them in now?
If the Trumper builds these coal plants he is a complete idiot!
Objective Reality Seeker
It is foolish to invest in coal. Gas aside Trump is an anomaly. When he is gone support for coal will go with him and incentives against coal will return. Anyone responding to Trump with investments will lose. Or you can short the whole industry. Whether you are left or right this is the reality.
Let’s review a few facts and historical reports.
Fifth Coldest October/November On Record In The US
(From Tony Heller: Dec 9, 2018)
October/November afternoon temperatures in the US have been declining since the 19th century. There was a very sharp drop off in the late 1960’s, and temperatures never recovered. This October/November was fifth coldest on record.
The percentage of days above 50F was fourth lowest on record.
The percentage of days above 55F was fourth lowest on record.
The percentage of days above 60F was fourth lowest on record.
The cold has continued into December, with almost the entire US below normal temperatures.
The cold has been accompanied by increased snow extent, with last month being the highest November snow extent on record.
Across the northern hemisphere, autumn snow extent has massively increased over the last 60 years – with this year being sixth highest on record.
Meanwhile, climate experts say global warming will happen “faster than we think.”
Experts also say global warming killed us 18 years ago.
San Jose Mercury News (CA) – June 30, 1989 – 3F General News
A senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human…
They tell us that snow is a thing of the past, and that the cold and snow is caused by global warming (report from 2000).
Experts say Britain will be a Siberian climate by 2020 (report from 2004).
They say the Arctic will be ice-free no later than this year (report from 2008).
And that a new ice age will begin as early as one year from now (report from 1971).
Putting this in layman’s terms, a one part per ten thousand increase in CO2 over the past century will cause the climate to become very hot, cold, snow free, snow covered, ice free, ice covered and trigger a new ice age and a Siberian climate – all as we are burning up. And of course, you are a racist if you disagree with any of these conclusions.
For all the graphs and supporting articles