Aug 20, 2018

EPA set to unveil Clean Power Plan replacement

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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Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.

Exclusive: Anti-Sanders campaign targets black South Carolina voters

Courtesy of The Big Tent Project

The Big Tent Project, a Democratic political group focused on promoting moderate presidential candidates, has sent hundreds of thousands of mailers bashing Bernie Sanders to black voters in South Carolina who voted in the state's 2016 primary.

Why it matters: Sanders' rise to the top of the pack, as dueling moderate candidates split their side of the vote, is worrying many in the Democratic political establishment who fear a socialist can't beat President Trump.

Inside the fight over FBI surveillance powers

Carter Page. Photo: Artyom Korotayev\TASS via Getty Images

Over the past year, President Trump has told senior administration officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, that he wants a major overhaul of national security surveillance powers and the secret court that approves them.

Behind the scenes: In one such discussion last year about the need to reauthorize government authorities to surveil U.S. citizens, Trump went so far as to say he'd rather get rid of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) altogether.