Coal, Energy Efficiency, Executive Insight, Generation

Trump to target Obama-era power plant pollution controls

Multiple media outlets have reported an upcoming Trump administration executive order will target limits on power plant pollution set during the Obama administration.

Water pollution measures may also be on the chopping block, according to reports. The orders could be coming as soon as this week.

Specifically, the orders will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite a set of 2015 regulations that put limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, which President Barack Obama’s EPA called the Clean Power Plan.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management will be instructed to lift its ban on federal coal leasing, according to reports.

Another order will gut the Waters of the United States rule, which also took effect in 2015 and regulates activities that could affect some 60 percent of lakes, rivers and wetlands in the country.

Orders to undo these rules will take some time to implement, and will probably spark legal battles.

The Clean Power Plan is a centerpiece of Obama’s energy and climate change policy, and was put on hold by the Supreme Court. The policy aimed to decrease carbon dioxide pollution by about one-third by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

Representatives from coal-reliant states and the Trump administration have referred to these and other new regulations as a “war on coal” that puts American jobs at risk.