A woman wearing a face mask walks in heavy smog in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province, on October 21, 2013. Choking clouds of pollution blanketed Harbin, a Chinese city famed for its annual ice festival on October 21, reports said, cutting visibility to 10 metres (33 feet) and underscoring the nation's environmental challenges.   CHINA OUT     AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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01:08 - Source: CNN

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Trump to roll back Obama's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Additional pollution will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year as of 2030, according to the EPA

CNN  — 

The Environmental Protection Agency will allow states to set their own emission standards for coal-fueled power plants under the newly proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. The plan, announced Tuesday, will “establish guidelines for states” to use when setting limits for greenhouse gases, the agency said in a statement. Critics say the decision will result in the release of much more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

By the EPA’s own estimate, according to its a 289-page risk analysis, the additional pollution will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year as of 2030. By the same year, the Obama administration’s Clean Air Plan, which the new rule will replace, would have avoided 3,600 premature deaths due to pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The President who talked about ending “the war on beautiful, clean coal” in this year’s State of the Union address is replacing one of the Obama administration’s signature climate change policies which the EPA referred to as “overly prescriptive and burdensome.” The announcement comes on the heels of plans to weaken fuel economy targets and a revision of coal ash regulations.

Environmental experts and medical associations agree that such a move could be detrimental to America’s health.

“With today’s proposal, President Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler abandon much-needed public health safeguards against power plant pollution, placing the health of all Americans at risk, and especially those who are most vulnerable, including children, older adults, and people with asthma and heart disease,” said Harold P. Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association, in a statement. “Today’s proposal is a dangerous substitute for the Clean Power Plan and a careless giveaway to polluters that will delay meaningful progress in the future.”