This Grist article discusses Trump’s climate ‘plan’ and it’s already headed to court.
The Trump administration just placed a nail in the coffin of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which had for the first time required states to set goals aimed at reducing carbon emissions coming from power plants. Today the Environmental Protection Agency finalized its replacement of the CPP: the Affordable Clean Energy rule. The new plan isn’t as ambitious, only requiring individual plants to produce fewer emissions per megawatt of electricity.
The move to scrap the CPP wasn’t unexpected — the EPA announced it was crafting an alternative back in 2017. Finalizing the new rule is just the latest attempt by the president to throw a lifeline to the country’s ailing coal industry, which supports the new rule. But that doesn’t mean the change didn’t cause a stir among advocates who see it as a setback for Americans’ health and the environment.
Had Obama’s power plan ever gone into effect (it was issued in 2015 but never implemented due to court challenges), it would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 70 percent of the country’s passenger vehicles off the road. The CPP was largely aimed at reigning in the U.S.’ contribution to global warming, though it would have come with important co-benefits like improving air quality. The EPA estimated that the plan would have prevented 4,500 deaths connected to air pollution each year.