Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence shake the hands of 193rd Special Operations Wing Airmen, and Airmen’s family and friends, Middletown, Pennsylvania, 29 April 2017. Photo: 1st Sgt. Culeen Shaffer / 193rd Special Operations Wing

By Emily Holden
14 August 2018

(POLITICO) – The Trump administration is preparing to unveil its plan for undoing Barack Obama’s most ambitious climate regulation — offering a replacement that would do far less to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, according to POLITICO’s review of a portion of the unpublished draft.

The new climate proposal for coal-burning power plants, expected to be released in the coming days, would give states wide latitude to write their own modest regulations for coal plants or even seek permission to opt out, according to the document and a source who has read other sections of the draft.

That’s a sharp contrast from the aims of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a 2015 regulation that would have sped a shift away from coal use and toward less-polluting sources such as natural gas, wind and solar. That plan was the centerpiece of Obama’s pledge for the U.S. to cut carbon dioxide emissions as part of the Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump has said he plans to exit.

The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that both carbon emissions and pollutants such as soot and smog would be higher under its new proposal than under the Clean Power Plan. And Trump’s critics call it a recipe for abandoning the effort to take on one of the world’s most urgent problems.

The proposal would be “another, more official, sign that the government of the United States is not committed to climate policy,” said Janet McCabe, EPA’s air chief under Obama.

McCabe said based on a description of the proposal, it would offer "a significant amount of discretion to states to decide that nothing at all needs to be done."

Many red states and several companies sued over the Clean Power Plan, and a federal appeals court was nearing a decision when Trump’s EPA asked for time to rewrite the rule. McCabe said the proposal could be meant to eat up time and stall a future president from quickly regulating greenhouse gases. [more]

Exclusive: Draft details Trump’s plan for reversing Obama climate rule

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