Trump rolls back Obama’s biggest climate rule

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The Trump administration on Wednesday issued its long-awaited replacement for former President Barack Obama’s most ambitious climate change regulation, rolling back rules in an effort to salvage the declining role of coal in the nation’s power supply.

Critics charge that the new rule would cripple the fight against climate change — which has emerged as a major issue for Democrats in the 2020 presidential race — and undermine any future White House efforts to use the Environmental Protection Agency to address the problem.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule is a part of the Trump administration’s campaign to erase greenhouse gas regulations designed to stave off the worst effects of climate change. And it is the first in a litany of rollbacks due out this year that will restrict EPA’s regulatory powers, with new rules due out soon that will ease regulations on vehicle emissions, oil and gas wells and other types of power plant pollution.

The new final rule, which was signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, eliminates the Obama EPA’s targets that would have required states to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, which would have hit coal power plants hard. It replaces them with a narrower plan that allows states to upgrade the efficiency of power plants to drive carbon dioxide reductions.

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