Aug 20, 2018 - Energy & Environment

EPA set to unveil Clean Power Plan replacement

Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to unveil a proposal this week to replace Obama-era rules to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants with a much weaker substitute, according to multiple reports.

Why it matters: EPA's 2015 Clean Power Plan was a central pillar of Obama's climate agenda, and was designed to achieve a 32% cut in nationwide CO2 emissions from power plants by 2030, relative to 2005 levels.

  • The rollout could be tied to President Trump's Tuesday trip to West Virginia, a major coal-producing state.

Go deeper: This Washington Post story over the weekend has details on the replacement plan.

  • EPA's analysis "projects that the proposal would make only slight cuts to overall emissions of pollutants — including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides — over the next decade," WashPost reports.

Yes, but: It's not clear if the proposal will alter the trajectory of coal's decline in power markets, which has been driven largely by cheap natural gas, as well as the rise of renewables and separate regulations.

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