The Trump administration Wednesday finalized a rule to repeal and replace a capstone Obama-era carbon pollution regulation that they argue exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority.
The new replacement rule to the Clean Power Plan (CPP), deemed the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, aims to give states more time and authority to decide how to implement the best new technology to ease net emissions from coal-fired plants.
“Under the CPP, the EPA Obama administration went beyond implementing best technology,” said a senior EPA official on a call with reporters Wednesday. “Under the CPP the Obama administration actually imposed emissions reductions on each and every state. We don’t believe that’s an EPA role or authority under the [Clean Air Act.]”
The result of the relaxed rule, the official said, could mean individual coal plants might increase their overall emissions. But, the official said, across the board the agency expects emissions to drop.
“The proposed replacement rule takes a very different approach to best system of emission reduction,” said Janet McCabe, former EPA acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation under Obama, who helped devise the CPP.
“It constrains it to only things power plants can do within their fence lines. It gives them significantly more time to work with their utilities, and lots of opportunities to decide that little or no technologies are cost-effective or needed to be implemented,” she said on a call with reporters Tuesday.