DATE: December 6, 2018
SNIP: The Trump administration plans to eliminate an Obama-era requirement that new coal-fired power plants have expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
This latest administration effort to boost fossil fuel industries comes as leaders from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to discuss how to keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. And amid reports that CO2 emissions are rising again, as well as the administration’s own report that climate change is causing more severe weather more frequently and could eventually hurt the U.S. economy.
“This says we’re expecting more coal-fired power plants in the future, and we’re going to make it easier to get there,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a professor of environmental law at Harvard University.
“This is just one more foolhardy move by a misguided administration that will be judged harshly by future generations,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the Climate & Clean Energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Under the Trump administration’s rule, carbon dioxide emissions from new coal plants would not be allowed to exceed 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, according to two people knowledgeable about the proposal. That’s compared to the Obama rule, which limited emissions to 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.