Inslee: Trump is co-conspirator in premature death of Washingtonians

EPA: Trump's easing of coal rules could kill 1,400 people per year

The proposed ACE rule will now undergo a public comment period before being finalized. But the EPA also estimates the extra pollutant from the rule could prematurely kill up to 1,400 people per year by 2030.

The Affordable Clean Energy Rule was announced by the EPA on Monday as a replacement to the Obama administration's 2015 Clean Power Plan.

Clarification: This story has been clarified to reflect that Rocky Mountain Power would keep coal plants online longer if it fits into their long-term plans and state regulators permit it.

Trump, who is expected to tout the plan at a rally Tuesday night in West Virginia, loves what he has called "beautiful, clean coal" and has launched a widespread effort to save the energy source from disappearing from the USA energy mix.

The Clean Power Plan prompted dozens of states to sue for federal overreach and the U.S. Supreme Court put the regulations on hold.

Rule, which replaces Obama-era attempts to limit air pollution, provides suggestions for efficiency improvements, leaving the actual regulations up to the state. But he said state regulators could have more flexibility to extend the life of coal plants, if the company makes such a request. The federal government will set carbon emission guidelines, but states will have the leeway to set less-stringent standards, taking into account a facility's age and the cost of upgrades.

The new plan will have a hard time working against these market forces, with even industry representatives telling the New York Times that "the fuel mix for providing electricity is changing, with increased investments in natural gas and renewables". Instead, it would leave regulatory authority for power-plant emissions to the states.

The EPA says that, because industries have already begun to reduce their environmental impact, the new rule would cut about as much emissions as the Clean Power Plan. "We are back. The coal industry is back", Trump told the clapping and cheering crowd. That will hasten climate change along with their copious carbon pollution and endanger public health with soot and particulate matter emissions.

The EPA has said the rule still would have the net effect of reducing carbon emissions from current levels.

Those moves have been rebuffed by California and a dozen other states, which have led a push to maintain high environmental standards and legally challenge the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era rules. "It also said the EPA can't just regulate greenhouse gases just with policy judgments that have nothing to do with the facts and nothing to do with the science".

In a statement Tuesday, Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said, "EPA has an important role when it comes to addressing the Carbon dioxide from our nation's power plants". Today, about a third of USA electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants, down from more than half at the turn of the century. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome".

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