EPA moves to undo tougher pollution limits on coal plants

Apr 15, 2017, 01:01
EPA moves to undo tougher pollution limits on coal plants

One of the duties of the Task Force is to evaluate EPA's existing regulations and make recommendations to Administrator Pruitt regarding which regulations should be repealed, replaced, or modified.

But Pruitt's visit to a mine as the EPA's leader also generated outrage for area environmental groups.

"I have decided that it is appropriate and in the public interest to reconsider the rule", Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote this week in a letter to groups that had petitioned the agency to revisit the rule, which was finalized in 2015. According to Myron Ebell, who led Trump's EPA transition team but is no longer employed by the administration, Pruitt is at risk from his own employees-and "the left". He went on cable news to question, without evidence, the scientific consensus that humans are driving climate change, stood by the president as Trump signed an order to dismantle core EPA emissions rules, told states they could ignore certain Obama-era carbon dioxide regulations, declined to ban a pesticide that appears to cause brain damage in infants, and backed off of methane limits.

Several of the nation's largest coal companies were forced to seek bankruptcy protection in the past year as electric utilities switch to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas made more plentiful through a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

"Lets look at what the past (Obama) administration achieved", Pruitt said.

These regulations include the controversial Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP), which has been deeply unpopular among the construction industry and is already undergoing a review under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

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UWAG said EPA underestimated the rule's costs and withheld records about the rulemaking from utilities who would have to comply with the rule, which the agency estimates could cost up to $2.5 billion a year.

The EPA declined to comment on whether it was still working to complete the designations process as scheduled. We need to stop burning dirty coal for the future of the planet, and increasingly, low-priced renewables like wind and solar are leading the way.

Job growth is not in coal, but in renewable energy. "We see it as a modest improvement over the current regulations and we see it as a way to protect workers, first responders and low income communities and communities of color, which are often living right next to these chemical plants".

"We welcome Administrator Pruitt to Southwestern Pennsylvania and are very encouraged by the new Administration's commonsense approach in balancing the need for environmental protection, energy development and economic growth", Jimmy Brock, CEO of CNX Coal Resources, said.

Still miners said the Trump administration has brought them new hope.