Rep. Scott Peters said Tuesday the Trump administration’s decision to ease up on environmental regulations on coal-fired power plants is a “another step backward.”
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The change replaces the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and makes it easier for utilities to keep coal-fired power plants running.
“Once again, the president has tossed aside a carefully crafted plan to keep our air clean and protect the environment and the public from the effects of climate change,” said Peters, who worked as an economist for the Environmental Protection Agency early in his career.
“The administration is choosing to ignore the increasing signs of climate change—wildfires, drought, floods, and more—to push a policy that will worsen these disasters,” said the three-term congressman from La Jolla.
The new plan, dubbed the Affordable Clean Energy rule, was signed by EPA acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, on Monday.
The change comes as President Trump is scheduled to lead a rally on Tuesday night in West Virginia, the nation’s number-two coal mining state.
Coal use for power generation in the United States has been dropping steadily since the 1980s because of both environmental regulations and the lower cost of natural gas. Coal now accounts for less than a third of electricity generation.
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