President Trump is directing the Environmental Protection Agency to revise or get rid of the most significant climate regulation of the Obama Administration — the Clean Power Plan. Trump signed an executive order to “suspend, revise, or rescind” the plan at the EPA headquarters Tuesday.
For years, scientists have known that pollution from burning fossil fuels is bad for us.
But just how bad? And can we place a dollar amount on the hidden costs of burning coal and other fossil fuels for electricity?
A surprise Supreme Court decision this week has thrown the Obama administration’s climate change legacy into doubt. The Clean Power Plan is the administration’s main avenue for reducing carbon emissions. It targets power plants, the largest source of carbon emissions in the country. Wyoming, North Dakota and Colorado are all suing to have the rule overturned and the injunction has given them new hope that might actually happen.
The bulk of this region’s electricity is still supplied by coal-fired power plants. Even before the new Clean Power Plan is implemented, those plants must comply with earlier EPA regulations that require dangerous air pollutants to be scrubbed from emissions. Its an expensive and challenging retrofit.
North Dakota is feeling the heat from the federal Clean Power Plan, which targets carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Under the final version of the plan, the state will have to cut its emissions by 45 percent – more any other state except Montana. Officials say it’s unfair and illegal, so they’re suing to overturn the rule. But they’re also working on a plan to comply.