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Updates on Trump tariffs and his Supreme Court nominee. Also on the Wednesday rundown: New Hampshire in the news in a clean energy report; and doctors address the rise of AFib – a serious and sometimes invisible cardiac issue.

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Clean Power Plan Challenge Has Green Groups Watching

Green groups are at the ready for a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington  concerning the case brought by the coal industry challenging the Clean Power Plan. (AgnosticPreachersKid)
Green groups are at the ready for a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington concerning the case brought by the coal industry challenging the Clean Power Plan. (AgnosticPreachersKid)
May 16, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine – A few weeks from now, environmental groups will be watching closely as the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington hears the coal industry's challenge of President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan.

The plan places limits on heat trapping carbon dioxide from power plants.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily halted the plan because its legal merits are being challenged.

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of he Natural Resources Council of Maine, says New England states have been cleaning up their act under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the Clean Power Plan would help get the rest of the nation in line.

"We have some of the worst ozone days on the coast because we're at the end of the tail pipe from all of the coal-fired power plants to the west of us,” she states. “So, we would really like to see the rest of the states catch up with what we are doing with RGGI."

Peabody Energy, America's largest coal company, denies the scientific consensus on climate change and has said it joined with others in the coal industry and attorneys general from coal-producing states to protect what it calls affordable energy for American families.

The case will be heard at the federal court in Washington on June 2, and will likely go back to the Supreme Court regardless of the lower court's ruling.

Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, calls the lawsuit a big waste of time because he says natural gas, wind and solar are all cheaper and cleaner. He says the coal industry's fight against clean power reminds him of the telecommunications battle of a couple of decades ago.

"Ma Bell and AT and T resisting the Internet and cellular technology, trying to maintain their outdated business model,” he states. “That's the same thing that's going on with electric utilities."

The Natural Resources Defense Council is also trying to keep the Clean Power Plan in place, calling it the bridge to a clean energy future and saving billions on energy costs.

NRDC also says switching to clean energy will prevent the deaths of 3,600 Americans and avert 90,000 childhood asthma attacks annually by 2030.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME