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Trump's clean energy plan lowers costs for all Americans: EPA's Andrew Wheeler

24 August 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency says the move "promotes energy independence". Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the plan "gives states the option to do just a little or absolutely nothing to reduce carbon pollution". And a new report by West Virginia University forecasts coal production in the state will level out during the next two years and decline sharply during the next two decades.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday argued the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan - the policy being replaced by this week's proposal - "exceeded the agency's legal authority" and argued the old regulations led to rising energy prices which have "hurt low and middle income Americans the most".

Trump's regulations would allow the states rather than the federal government to create emission standards.

The Sierra Club's senior campaign representative in Pennsylvania, Patrick Grenter, released a statement saying, "The proposed rollback of life-saving clean air and climate safeguards is unacceptable and exposes Wheeler's EPA as a puppet of the very coal executives who used to sign his paychecks and want to pollute with impunity". "Since 2005, TVA has already reduced our carbon output by almost 50% with some of the changes we've made in our generation portfolio". It will also cause an extra 40,000 cases of worsening asthma and 60,000 lost school days by 2030. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions. "And, together, we won an historic stay from the Supreme Court of the United States - stopping the so-called 'Clean Power Plan'".

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The administration's own analysis also shows that the plan would result in 1,400 more premature deaths than the Clean Power Plan. Indiana Coal Council President Bruce Stevens says more efficient plants often run longer - and that could be a game-changer for Indiana utilities that are planning to shutter their coal plants.

The Clean Power Plan was challenged in court and never took effect.

The Affordable Clean Energy Rule was announced by the EPA on Monday as a replacement to the Obama administration's 2015 Clean Power Plan.

14 News spoke with an environmental advocate in the Tri-State, who says the policy could affect your health.

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"At exactly the time we should be sending a comprehensive signal for clean energy, we're totally squelching that signal", he added.

Duke does "appreciate EPA's efforts to propose a regulation that fits within the agency's statutory authority while recognizing the important role our states play in generation planning", but it's committed to reducing 2030 Carbon dioxide emissions by 40% from 2005 levels.

"It's really all about playing to their base, not doing their job to protect public health", McCarthy told CNN's Alisyn Camerota Tuesday morning on "New Day".

Trump is scheduled Tuesday evening to visit West Virginia, the nation's second-largest coal-producing state.

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"Without any sort of thumb on the scale, industry is choosing to go in the direction of clean energy and reducing Carbon dioxide emissions", he said.

Trump's clean energy plan lowers costs for all Americans: EPA's Andrew Wheeler