The Trump administration has weakened clean air rules in an effort to prop up the coal industry and outdated power plants that coal fuels.
The plan may not save many coal plants. In Arkansas, for example, Entergy has already announced plans to phase out coal-burning plants at White Bluff and in Independence County.
The Sierra Club blasted the Trump administration. A statement from Arkansas director Glen Hooks said putting more pollutants in the air will cost lives.
Since President Trump was elected, more than 50 coal plants have announced plans to retire–including the two largest coal plants in Arkansas. Five states and over 125 cities –including Fayetteville, Arkansas–have committed to 100% clean energy. More than a dozen Arkansas cities are now home to utility-scale solar energy plants, and our state’s largest utilities are committing to clean solar and wind power in a big way. President Trump shouldn’t stand in the way of progress that creates good jobs, clean air, and healthier citizens.
“President Trump’s illegal rollback won’t save the coal industry, but it will jeopardize the lives and health of thousands of Americans each year. And rather than listening to science and the public by taking climate action, Trump and Wheeler’s Dirty Power Plan throws out some of the most important climate policies our country has ever seen and replaces them with a do-nothing policy that will actually increase pollution at many dirty plants. Coal executives are getting exactly what they paid for, and everyone else is getting sick and ripped off
Court challenges are expected.
The Sierra Club notes that a final approval is still pending on the Entergy plant shutdowns and that there are three other coal-fired power plants in Arkansas–Flint Creek and Turk (owned by SWEPCO) and the Plum Point plant in NE Arkansas. Hooks said the Sierra Club is now reviewing the rule to assess its impacts here in Arkansas on the remaining plants. But the club remains convinced that the Trump plan won’t combat climate change, contribute to public health and produce an “equitable clean energy economy.”