Trump Plays Down Health Hazard in Making Climate Rule Repeal

Bloomberg Politics discusses the Trump administration’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

When President Barack Obama unveiled his plan to pare emissions from U.S. power plants two years ago, he stressed the long-term health benefits: 3,600 fewer premature deaths, 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children and a decline in hospital visits.

Now, the Trump administration is justifying its rollback of the Clean Power Plan by arguing its predecessor exaggerated the public health gains.

The Environmental Protection Agency will formally begin undoing Obama’s plan on Tuesday, a process that includes revising some of its underlying calculations to emphasize costs and minimize benefits. Among the casualties: long-held conclusions about how microscopic air pollution jeopardizes human health.

Conservatives who have criticized the EPA’s approach under Obama said the Trump administration is right to reevaluate that assumption. Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said he would prefer Trump’s EPA go further and not count the “co-benefits” of reducing fine particulate matter when the real aim is curbing carbon dioxide.

“If these illusory co-benefits are going to be counted, then we think that it is entirely appropriate to cut them off for levels below the national ambient air quality standards,” Ebell said. “That level has been set at what has been determined to be safe for human health. How can there be a health benefit below the safe level?”

Read the full article at Bloomberg Politics.