The Trump administration is trying to meet its commitments to resurrect coal-fired power plants — a transfer that will probably do little to derive the wave of coal retirements or to prevent natural gas and renewables from advancing.
On Wednesday, it repealed the Obama administration’s carbon-cutting rule and changed it with one to permit states to set those requirements. While the states would have three years to plot their plans, the move will meet instant resistance by opposition teams that will take their case to the courtroom. And if Trump is beaten in 2020 as the current polls recommend, this entire exercise have been naught.
“By abolishing the Clean Energy Plan and changing it with a perverse model, the Trump Administration is putting American lives and our financial system in danger, and making certain that our nation will forego the financial opportunities of a clean power future,” says U.S. Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Since 2011, 289 of the 530 coal plants had been shut down. And the nation may be on track to shut the remainder of them by 2030. Even if this coverage survives, its most far-reaching impact would be to increase the lives of older plants.
The truth is that natural gas plants will proceed to exchange coal units. And whereas that fuel releases roughly half of the emissions as does coal, it has surpassed coal in terms of carbon eruptions in 2015; natural gas has also surpassed coal to become primarily the most prevalent fuel used to generate electrical energy in the US in 2016, producing about 34% of all power in comparison with 27% for coal, says the Energy Data Administration.