Letting Coal Thrive 🚂

George Frey / Getty Images

George Frey / Getty Images

Police yourself

The Trump administration has drafted a replacement for Obama's Clean Power Plan. Trump has argued that Obama's plan will be expensive to implement without being very effective. Trump's replacement gives more power to individual states to regulate themselves. 


What is the Clean Power Plan?

The Clean Power Plan targets regulating coal power plants with the aim of cutting carbon emissions by an estimated 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The U.S. Supreme Court suspended the Clean Power Plan in 2016 as several lawsuits against it made their way through the court system. Trump then signed an executive order in 2017 calling on the EPA to review the plan and repeal it if necessary.

The right views the draft proposal as the Trump administration’s “most ambitious effort” to support the coal industry. Some outlets highlight the administration's efforts in “minimizing the federal mandates while still fulfilling the legal requirements under the Clean Air Act.” They also acknowledge that ongoing market trends against coal “may blunt the proposal’s ultimate effect” anyway.

The left views the draft proposal as a gift to coal plants that allows them to “flood the planet with greenhouse gas emissions”. They highlight how the new proposal will only reduce emissions by 1.5% from 2005 levels by 2030. They believe that the proposal’s ultimate purpose is to block future presidents from regulating power plants by triggering a lengthy legal fight.

What impact will this proposal have?

Articles on both side acknowledge that this proposal will not have any more of an impact than the Clean Power Plan. Opponents plan to block the implementation of the plan by filing several lawsuits against it that will take years to get cleared. The Trump administration will use their proposal as evidence of their support of the coal industry in the midterm elections. With the plan in lock up, market trends will likely remain the deciding factor to the survival of the coal industry.

Trump's present to coal country



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