Donald Trump on Tuesday revealed plans to roll back Obama-era rules aimed at fighting climate change, Politico is reporting.
The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule is intended to allow states to write their own energy guidelines when it comes to electricity production. Specifically, it allows states to weaken, or even opt completely out of, Obama-era climate change policies intended to shift the U.S. energy production apparatus away from traditional, coal-fired power plants and toward renewable sources, such as wind or solar power.
The regulations, which you can read in their entirety here, would lower to about one-tenth the amount of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions legislated by the Obama administration rules.
It’s the latest attempt by the Trump administration to roll back Obama-era climate change legislation. Earlier this year, as The New Yorker reports, the Trump administration announced plans to roll back fuel-economy standards for cars. The Obama-era rules set a goal of having passenger cars and light trucks have a fuel efficiency of 54 miles per gallon by 2025; the Trump administration, however, wants to keep the current regulation of 35 miles per gallon.
The move was widely seen to be directed specifically at California, which sets fuel-economy standards that are even tighter than the EPA’s. Twelve other states have adopted California’s standards.
California Governor Jerry Brown vowed to sue the Trump administration over the proposed legislation.
“[California] will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.”
The Trump administration has long operated under the assumption that climate change is not real, and that legislative efforts to curtail it harm American workers.
As NBC News reported in July, the Trump administration tried (and failed) to remove the words “climate change” from all government websites. The two sites that survived the purge – Climate.gov and CLEANet.org – saw huge increases in both the amount of information on each site and in traffic.
Meanwhile, Trump’s efforts to revive the stagnating coal industry in the U.S. may be failing organically, rather than through Obama-era legislation, reports The Charleston Gazette-Mail.
“We’re going to put the miners back to work, we’re going to put the miners back to work. We’re gonna get those mines back open.”
The real problem facing the coal industry, say experts, is not legislation aimed at curbing coal production and use. It’s the availability of cheaper, and less-polluting, natural gas, says West Virginia University law professor James Van Nostrand.
“Killing the Clean Power Plan will not bring coal back, because the Clean Power Plan did not kill coal. It’s still economics.”