EPA eases restrictions on coal in repeal of Obama-era climate laws

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The Trump administration made good on its promise to try and save the coal industry on Wednesday, easing previously-instituted restrictions on coal miners established by former President Barack Obama.

The EPA gave states more leeway in deciding whether plants need to make limited efficiency upgrades, and officials are hoping the rule change provides a boon to the coal industry, which suffered near-record numbers of plant closings last year.

A previous EPA investigation, however, showed the rule change would result in an additional 300 to 1,500 pollution-related deaths each year by 2030.

“I can’t think of a single rule that would do more to set back the effort to do what we need to do to address the critical threat of climate change,” said Harvard University Environmental Law Program’s Joseph Goffman, who helped draft the repealed Clean Power Plan.

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