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EPA rolls back plan limiting coal-fired power plant emissions

The new plan, which EPA is calling the Affordable Clean Energy rule, is designed to boost the struggling coal industry but also likely increase carbon emissions nationwide.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 7:19 AM
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 7:23 AM

(CNN) -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said states can set their own carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants a rule that the agency itself says could result in 1,400 more premature deaths by 2030 than the Obama-era plan it will replace.

The move fulfills part of President Donald Trump's promise to help the coal industry, but will likely face court challenges from environmental groups and several states who see the rollback as detrimental to clean air and efforts to fight the climate crisis.

The new plan, which EPA is calling the Affordable Clean Energy rule, is designed to boost the struggling coal industry but also likely increase carbon emissions nationwide.

EPA argues that any comparison to the Obama rule is incongruous because it was never implemented.

Former President Barack Obama's plan, if implemented, would have prevented 3,600 premature deaths a year, 1,700 heart attacks and 90,000 asthma attacks, according to analysis conducted by the EPA under his tenure.

The Obama Clean Power Plan was set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to the climate crisis, by up to 32% compared to 2005 levels by the same year.

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