The Trump administration is slated to undo an Obama-era rule that required coal plants to significantly cut carbon emissions, according to Reuters, which could mean more coal burning plants will be constructed in the future.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will make an “energy policy announcement” at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) on Thursday. Andrew Wheeler, EPA’s acting administrator, will speak alongside Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, a long-time opponent of former President Barack Obama’s limits on carbon emissions.
The EPA is expected to propose allowing new coal plants to emit up to 1,900 pounds (862 kg) of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, according to a New York Times report citing unnamed sources.
Under Obama’s standards, plants could allow only 1,400 pounds of carbon per megawatt-hour and new facilities “would have to burn some natural gas, which emits less carbon, or install carbon capture equipment or highly efficient technology that is not yet commercially available.”
The Trump administration is moving forward with the proposal despite recent warnings from within and outside the federal government of the devastation climate change will bring if emissions are not greatly reduced.
The regulatory roll back comes ahead of the annual U.N. climate talks in Poland next week, where White House officials plan a panel on coal technology.