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Democrats decry Trump's plan to replace Obama's clean power regulations

Democrats decry Trump's plan to replace Obama's clean power regulations
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Democrats on Tuesday lashed out against the Trump administration’s proposed alternative to Obama-era coal power regulations, saying the replacement plan won't safeguard human health.

The proposal — introduced Tuesday and known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule — would give more power to states when it comes to determining regulations and compliance for coal plants.

The plan would replace the 2015 Clean Power Plan (CPP) regulations, which imposed strict rules for coal-fired power plants.

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Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill criticized the Trump administration’s approach, saying it will lead to increased air pollution.

“If I were grading the Trump Administration’s proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan, I would give it an ‘F,’” said Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Trump adviser Kudlow seeks end to electric car, renewable energy credits | Shell to pay execs based on carbon reduction | Justices reject greens' border wall lawsuit Representing patients’ voices Overnight Health Care: Top Trump refugee official taking new HHS job | Tom Price joins new Georgia governor's transition | FDA tobacco crackdown draws ire from the right MORE (D-Del.) in a statement.

“This egregious climate denial plan fails to protect the American people from the serious risks of climate change, fails to produce the same health and energy saving benefits that were achieved under the Clean Power Plan, and could send clean energy jobs to China,” said Carper, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneOvernight Health Care: House set to vote on bill targeting drug companies for overcharging Medicaid | Dems press Trump officials on pre-existing conditions | Tobacco giant invests .8B in Canadian marijuana grower Top Dems press Trump officials for answers on pre-existing conditions Overnight Health Care: US health-care spending hit .5 trillion in 2017 | White House sought 0M more to house migrant children | ObamaCare enrollment down 10 percent from last year MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the new rule a clear decision to choose “polluters’ profits over public health.”

“The Trump Dirty Power Scam will not lower electric bills, create jobs, or revive the coal industry, but will instead stifle innovation in clean energy, harm human health, and push the planet toward further dangerous warming,” Pallone said in a statement.

The Environmental protection Agency's (EPA) own analysis of the plan found that carbon emissions would increase if the proposal is implemented.

“As compared to the standards of performance that it replaces … implementing the proposed rule is expected to increase emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and increase the level of emissions of certain pollutants in the atmosphere that adversely affect human health,” the analysis says.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) called the proposal a “betrayal.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE and Acting EPA head Andrew Wheeler teamed up with their friends in the fossil fuel industry to release a plan that would open the floodgates to more carbon pollution across the country,” he said in a statement. “The Administration’s proposal is a betrayal of the public trust that fails to uphold the EPA’s legal obligation under the Clean Air Act to protect Americans from pollution.

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraCalifornia AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list Ocasio-Cortez, Tim Scott, Becerra among Bloomberg's 50 most noteworthy in 2018 Target to pay .4M after probe found it illegally dumped hazardous waste in California MORE (D), who has speerheaded a number of court battles against the Trump administration’s environmental regulation rollbacks, called the new rule a refusal to manage carbon pollution.

Every part of America and the world is going through traumatic changes in climate activity, with devastating consequences in too many cases,” he said in a statement. “Meanwhile, President Trump cavalierly refuses to effectively manage pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants. Our families deserve clean air to breathe.”

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has put $4.5 million behind the fight to keep the U.S. committed to cutting carbon emissions despite Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement, said the market will continue to favor cleaner energy despite the administration’s efforts to prop up coal.

“Emissions continue to shrink because Americans are demanding cleaner air and cheaper, cleaner energy -- and cities, states and businesses are delivering,” he said in a statement. “Wind, solar and other clean energy sources are beating coal in the marketplace, which is benefiting both public health and the economy. That will continue to happen even if the EPA keeps spitting in the wind.”

Republicans, however, largely support the administration's CPP replacement, pointing primarily to its proposed cost savings.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTrump, in reversal, calls for Pentagon to raise budget request to 0B: reports Inhofe tells military crowd: 'Don't trust the media' GOP senators introduce bill to give Trump billion for border wall MORE (R-Okla.), a senior member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said he was excited about the rule because it would give states more control.

“The greatest benefit is it’s going to be under the jurisdiction of the state, it’s going to be different from state to state,” he said. “One size does not fit all in this case because the one size they were hoping for was to shut down coal plants, and this does not shut down coal plants.”

Other GOP lawmakers were equally supportive of the administration, likening the rule to giving coal plants a new lease on life.

“A very good day for Kentucky. I applaud @realDonaldTrump for continuing to roll back and working to end the Obama war on coal,” Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDems have new moniker for Trump: ‘Unindicted co-conspirator' Rand Paul downplays potential Trump campaign finance violations: 'We’ve over-criminalized campaign finance' Paul calls Trump's pick for attorney general's views on surveillance 'very troubling' MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted.

In another tweet, Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonTrump ultimatum sparks fears of new arms race GOP tensions running high on criminal justice bill Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform MORE (R-Ark.) issued a statement that said: “The Obama administration’s plan would have amounted to a huge energy tax that would have raised power bills for Arkansans and dealt a blow to manufacturers … This new rule will go a long way toward rebuilding trust between the EPA and rural America.”