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Trump rolls back Obama’s clean power plan as coal returns to US power plants

A sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions has now become history.

world Updated: Oct 10, 2017 12:36 IST
Donald Trump,Coal,Clean Power Plan
File photograph of a coal-fired power plant. Coal is set to return as fuel for American power stations following the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan.(Shutterstock)

The Trump administration has confirmed plans to scrap an Obama administration rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the cap on carbon emissions from power plants set to go now. The new rule is expected on Tuesday.

“The war on coal is over,” Scott Pruitt, head of the environment protection agency, said at an event in Kentucky on Monday. “Tomorrow in Washington, DC, I will be signing a proposed rule to roll back the Clean Power Plan. No better place to make that announcement than Hazard, Ky (Kentucky).”

The move is linked directly to President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to coal miners rendered jobless by a mix of Obama-era green rules and market forces. Some parts of Obama’s Clean Power Plan restrictions on mining have already been removed.

In August the Trump administration notified the UN that it intended to withdraw from the Paris climate accord forged by Barack Obama. Trump had accused India and China, the two countries instrumental for the accord’s conclusion, of ‘getting a free ride’.

Read more: India ready to work above and beyond Paris climate deal: Sushma Swaraj

Power plant emissions are among the most significant contributors to greenhouse gases at the heart of global warming and Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan had the promise of restricting them to a level that could have helped American meet its mitigation targets.

Trump, who has said he believes global warming is a “hoax” by the Chinese to hobble US manufacturing, had promised to remove restrictions on coal mines and withdraw the US from the Paris accord. He has moved quickly to deliver on them unhindered by mixed signals he may have given after an unexpected victory in the elections when he said, in his first interview as President-elect that he had an open mind on the issue and that he was in favour of clean air and water.

The President has since made up his mind.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 12:35 IST