A public comment period is set to expire on October 30 regarding a sweeping new set of rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and designed to replace the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.
The new Affordable Clean Energy proposal will give to the states the authority to create their own rules for coal-fired plants. In so doing, the states would also be allowed to relax restrictions governing the amount of allowable greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
According to sources, the new rules, if implemented, would allow for twelve times more greenhouse gases to be emitted than what is currently allowed under the Clean Power Plan.
Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide target emission reductions of around 20 percent would be reduced in the Affordable Clean Energy plan to some 1 percent.
The proposed rules, said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement, would “restore the rule of law and empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide modern, reliable, and affordable energy for all Americans.”
The proposal has won the support of the American Coal Council, but has also been criticized by the American Institute of Architects which has charged that the new rules would be “detrimental to the health of all Americans and will greatly undermine the fight against global warming.”
The proposal would additionally give the states up to three years to formulate their own plans.
The Clean Power Plan, unveiled by Obama in the summer of 2014, was designed to move away from a reliance on coal in favor of gas and renewable energy as power sources.
EPA officials have said that the new rules, if enacted, will save the power industry anywhere from $300 to $500 million in compliance costs.
By Garry Boulard
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