Energy: Health costs of Trump’s coal plan
Lifting restrictions on coal-burning power plants could lead to 1,400 premature deaths a year by 2030, said Lisa Friedman in The New York Times. The number comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis of new rules pushed by Trump and agency officials. The deaths would come from “an increase in the extremely fine particulate matter,” which is linked to heart and lung disease. Relaxing the rules would also lead to 15,000 new cases of upper respiratory problems each year. The administration’s proposal would replace stricter Obama-era regulations “designed to fight global warming by forcing utilities to switch to greener power sources.”
Expect the environmental policy divide between red and blue states to widen, said Juliet Eilperin in The Washington Post. The previous Obama-era rules set strict carbon dioxide limits for each state and encouraged “the shuttering of coal plants.” But conservative state officials may now permit utilities to keep the plants open longer, while liberal states could continue pressing for steep greenhouse gas emission reductions. Coal plants have been shutting down at a rapid clip; half the plants the Sierra Club targeted in 2010 are now shut down or scheduled to close. “Industry officials praised the administration,” as compliance costs should fall by $400 million.