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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: More testimony on Ohio's "anti-protest" bill; and we'll take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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Critics: Clean Power Plan Replacement Would Weaken Air Protections

Iowa is part of a coalition of states, counties and cities that oppose repeal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. (phys.org)
Iowa is part of a coalition of states, counties and cities that oppose repeal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. (phys.org)
September 7, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – The public is being asked to weigh in through Oct. 30 on the Trump administration's replacement for the Clean Power Plan.

The Obama-era plan, put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court, called for a 19 percent reduction in emissions from coal and natural gas plants by 2030.

Janet McCabe, senior law fellow with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, is a former EPA administrator. She says the Trump administration's new Affordable Clean Energy Rule contains no measurable limits or compliance deadlines and only suggests that states might consider establishing standards.

She notes that if they do so, they have three years to submit them to the EPA.

"The proposal gives the states, really, ultimate discretion to require nothing at all,” says McCabe. “What this rule would allow is for a state to say, 'Well, given the remaining useful life of this plant, it doesn't make sense to require it to do anything.'"

Earlier this year, the Iowa Attorney General's office joined a coalition of states, counties and cities that are on record as opposing repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

The EPA's own analysis shows that the new plan would result in up to 1,400 American deaths every year by 2030, as more coal burning results in more air pollution. It would also contribute to heart and breathing problems, from asthma and bronchitis to premature death.

McCabe says if people object to the new plan, they don't have to be scientists or experts to let the EPA know what they think.

"When I was at EPA, every single rule I worked on got better between proposal and final because of comments that we got,” says McCabe. “And those are important expressions from taxpayers in this country about what they feel their government should do, to protect them or to stay out of the way."

McCabe notes that the new Affordable Clean Energy Rule would cut emissions, at most, to 1.5 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA