In 2014, former United States President Barack Obama proposed a set of guidelines, rules, and actions that would ultimately reduce the level of carbon emissions into the environment by 30 percent as compared to its 2005 level by 2030 – this group of laws was called the Clean Power Plan. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, total benefits of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were expected to total anywhere from $25 billion to $45 billion by 2030.
Current United States President Donald Trump was widely expected to drop the Clean Power Plan from the law books – which he did – shortly after he took office in January 2017.
Experts say that the US Environmental Protection Agency is slated to release its replacement for the Clean Power Plan later today – on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 – called the Affordable Clean Energy rule.
The Clean Power Plan had much higher standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions than the current Affordable Clean Energy rule will. However, the latter will support coal manufacturers and businesses that rely on or deal with coal far more than the former.
Andrew Wheeler, the Acting Administrator of the EPA who was appointed by Trump this year, shared with The Wall Street Journal that the Affordable Clean Energy rule primarily differed from the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in that the Obama-era’s bill “was centered around doing away with coal.”
Coal is such a hot-button topic because it releases a comparatively high amount of greenhouse gas emissions when processed or burned. Companies in the United States have mined, refined, distributed, and used coal for well over a century; the Clean Power Plan hurt the coal industry in the name of addressing climate change, whereas the Affordable Clean Energy rule will help businesses engage in practices that support coal at the expense of the environment.
Believe it or not, the United States is home to far more climate change deniers than any country on the planet. However, some believe that climate change is a farce.
Under Trump’s and Wheeler’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, states will be given greater discretion over how to restrict the use of coal and other fossil fuels that are notorious for releasing carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases, carcinogens, and other things that are bad for the environment and the planet’s constituents.
The Clean Power Plan’s rules were never put into effect because of countless lawsuits brought to the Supreme Court, though Trump’s plan is likely to face the same scrutiny.