ACE or Joker? Trump's Self-Defeating Climate Rule

by Daniel Farber | July 25, 2019

Originally published on Legal Planet.

To hear President Trump talk, the point of deregulation is to reduce the burden of regulation on industry. But weirdly enough, that doesn't turn out to be true of Trump's effort to repeal Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) and replace it with his own Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. Both rules regulate carbon emissions from power plants (though Trump's rule covers only coal plants). According to his own EPA, however, the Trump administration's approach will actually increase costs to industry.

It's actually a kind of perfect storm. First, the rule eliminates a trivial amount of carbon and handicaps any future climate efforts. Second, it imposes significant economic costs (many of them avoidable). Third, it reduces state governments to the role of unpaid engineering consultants. And – to mix metaphors – the cherry on top is that the ACE rule is actually likely to be counterproductive in some locations where it will increase carbon emissions and local air pollution. If Obama had issued this rule, Republicans would have screamed their heads off and the Texas Attorney General would have raced to court in order to stop it.

The High Cost of a Regulatory Rollback

As the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank points out, "rather than generating $58 billion in regulatory savings [as EPA originally projected], the ACE rule instead imposes $970 million in costs" according to EPA's current analysis. The ...

Replacing the CPP's Visionary Energy Planning with the ACE's Technical Tinkering

by Alice Kaswan | June 28, 2019
The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the Trump administration's recently released substitute for his predecessor's Clean Power Plan (CPP), has been widely criticized as an ineffectual mechanism for addressing power plants' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More broadly, the rule substitutes a technocratic, plant-by-plant approach for the more comprehensive and participatory state planning required by the now-repealed CPP. The ACE identifies a range of potential heat-rate improvements (usually efficiency improvements) at coal-fired power plants and then lets the states determine which ...

The 'Advancing Coal Energy' Rule? EPA's Misguided Approach to Carbon Emissions from the Dirtiest Power Plants

by Hannah Wiseman | June 26, 2019
The EPA released its finalized rule for carbon emissions from existing power plants last week. The agency calls the rule the "Affordable Clean Energy" (ACE) rule, but it would be better named the "Advancing Coal Energy" rule given its explicit aim to keep old, dirty coal-fired power plants running. A bit of background first for those who aren't familiar with the rule. The United States has made a great deal of progress cleaning up its power plants so they emit ...

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