Trump’s EPA just replaced Obama’s signature climate policy with a much weaker rule

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from VOX,

The Affordable Clean Energy rule replaces the Clean Power Plan. It could increase carbon emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday killed President Obama’s signature climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan (CPP). It’s one of the few definitive wins in the Trump administration’s full-court press to undo and weaken environmental regulations.

The EPA is still required to regulate greenhouse gases, but the CPP’s new replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, is drastically weaker. The ACE rule would lower power sector emissions by 11 million tons by 2030, or between 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent. The EPA noted that long-term industry trends are expected to still push emissions down 35 percent, but that’s largely independent of the ACE rule.

So the new ACE rule is likely to do little to slow the US power sector’s impact on the global climate. According to some researchers, the new policy itself could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, even compared to business as usual. And according to the EPA’s own assessments last year, the proposal will lead to thousands more deaths from air pollution.

However, environmental groups are gearing up to file legal challenges to the ACE rule.

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