Under President Trump, the U.S. EPA has submitted new regulations to replace the Clean Power Plan objectives established by the Obama administration to reduce carbon emissions.
“The war on coal is over. Tomorrow, in Washington, D.C., I will be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule.” Scott Pruitt, administer of the EPA, said at a press conference.
The agency's new direction follows an executive order of President Trump in March, which removed restrictions on coal, oil, natural gas, and shale energy. The order also directed all government agencies to review existing actions that "harm domestic energy production."
More recently, Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to establish new rules requiring regional market operators to develop price support measures, which favor coal and nuclear plants. These rules require market operators to allow the "full recovery of costs" of plants which provide grid reliability services and have a 90-day fuel supply on site in the event of supply disruptions caused by events, such as extreme weather.
For now, the federal Investment Tax Credit which has supported solar power promotion remains in place, and in many states solar power generation has become highly competitive against other generation types such as coal-fired plants.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration stated that even if the CPP is not implemented, low natural gas prices and current tax credits will make natural gas and renewable energy the primary sources of new generation capacity. Unfortunately, the Trump administration's support for coal and nuclear plants could prolong the lifespans of these plants and delay demand for new capacity.