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Appeals court overturns Trump EPA’s ‘Dirty Power’ rule

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The Trump administration EPA gave its rollback of the Clean Power Plan the name Affordable Clean Energy.

Detractors had another name for it – the “Dirty Power” rule.

A federal appeals court is weighing in on the eve of the end of the Trump reign of terror against the environment.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today that the rollback violated federal laws.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined a coalition of 22 states and seven local governments in 2019 in suing the EPA over the rollback.

“Today’s ruling is an important win for climate change efforts and protecting our environment,” Herring said. “During his time in office, President Trump has made it no secret that combating climate change in our country was not a priority for him and his ‘Dirty Power’ rule not only violated the Clean Power Plan but would have moved the country away from focusing on clean, renewable energy sources. Virginia knows all too well the devastating effects climate change and sea level rise can have on communities, especially in Hampton Roads, and I will continue to do all I can to protect measures that cut down on pollution and help reverse climate change in our country.”

The Clean Power Plan, enacted in 2014, was the first-ever nationwide limits on existing fossil-fueled power plants, one of the largest sources of climate change pollution.

The Trump revision would have rolled back the Clean Power Plan limits and would have had virtually no impact on emissions from these kinds of power plants, prolonging the nation’s reliance on polluting, expensive coal power plants, and obstructing progress of states toward clean, renewable, and affordable electricity generation.


Among the harms that Virginia faces from increasing climate change are:

  • Norfolk has experienced the equivalent of 18.2 inches of relative sea level rise in the past 100 years, compared with the global average of 7-8 inches since 1890
  • Ordinary rain events now cause flooding in the streets of Norfolk, including large connector streets going underwater.
  • Norfolk naval base, the largest navy base in the world, is currently replacing 14 piers due to sea level rise, at a cost of $35-40 million per pier.
  • According to Old Dominion University’s Center for Sea Level Rise, the city of Norfolk alone will need at least $1 billion in the coming decades to replace current infrastructure and keep water out of city homes and businesses.
  • According to a recent study by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, costs from three feet of sea-level rise in the Hampton Roads region are expected to range between $12 billion and $87 billion.

augusta free press
augusta free press