The Trump administration on Wednesday completed one of its biggest rollbacks of environmental rules, replacing a landmark Obama-era effort that sought to wean the nation's electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution. EPA chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, signed a replacement rule that gives states leeway in deciding what level of emissions cuts to require at existing coal plants. Some opinions for and against, and other takes on the implications, per the AP and others:
- For: Wheeler said coal-fired power plants remained essential to the power grid, something that opponents deny. "Americans want reliable energy that they can afford," he said at a news conference. There's no denying "the fact that fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix."
- For: Rep. David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican, was one of several coal country lawmakers on hand for the signing. He argued that power from the sun and wind was not yet reliable enough to depend on. "We're not ready for renewable energy ... so we need coal."