Washington — On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump’s administration announced its plan to weaken regulation of US coal plants, marking the most significant rollback yet in the environmental legacy of former president Barack Obama. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule allows states the flexibility to set their own standards for performance at existing coal-fired power plants, rather than follow a single federal standard. The EPA says it is designed to replace Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, which aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by shifting electricity away from coal in favour of natural gas, wind and solar. Environmental advocates blasted the new rule, saying it will boost emissions from power plants, which emit about 28% of US greenhouse gases, and worsen global warming. "The plan calls for only modest efficiency improvements at individual power plants, which will barely make a dent in cutting heat-trapping emissio...

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