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Trump team acts to weaken Obama-era coal emission rules

A tractor at a coal plant
Tractor at a coal plant. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a plan that would weaken restrictions on coal-fired power plants, allowing them to release mercury and other pollutants linked to respiratory illnesses into the atmosphere, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The proposal doesn't rescind Obama administration rules that placed strict limits on mercury and other pollutants from coal plants, but it would weaken the legal basis for those regulations, making it easier for energy companies to challenge them and harder to enact new anti-pollution regulations.

Go deeper: EPA prepping changes for Obama era coal rule.