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Trump, who has scheduled a rally on Tuesday in coal-producing state West Virginia, has vowed to end what he termed "the war on coal" and boost domestic fossil fuels production.

Health advocacy groups blasted the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to roll back Obama-era limits on coal-fired power plant emissions, with one group arguing the changes could result in more than 1,000 avoidable deaths a year in the US while doing nothing to address climate change.

Even with the new rules from Trump's EPA that would reduce regulations on coal plants compared to those pushed by the Obama administration, the trend toward natural gas is likely to continue.

Now, the new rule gives states more authority to decide on emissions standards with the help of federal guidelines and relaxes CPP standards, according to a written statement from the EPA.

That is well below the 32% reduction target by 2030, from 2005 levels, set by Obama's clean power plan.

The changes, which would be allowed just for power plants, would also enable the kind of efficiency upgrades envisioned under the Trump administration's proposed carbon dioxide requirements, Mr Wehrum said. But the EPA also estimates the extra pollutant from the rule could prematurely kill up to 1,400 people per year by 2030.

Wheeler says the agency's new plan gives states three years to come up with their own path to cut carbon emissions and prove they're making progress. "And, together, we won an historic stay from the Supreme Court of the United States - stopping the so-called 'Clean Power Plan'".

Those numbers are not addressed in the EPA's new report.

Stevens says if the Clean Power Plan was implemented, it would have decreased the use of IN coal by about 10 million tons - resulting IN the loss of thousands of coal mining jobs. As recently as last October, the agency said that doing away with the plan would mean as many as 4,500 additional deaths.

The plan was the centrepiece in an effort to lower emissions and help meet worldwide climate change goals set out in the Paris agreement, which Trump has pledged to leave. First, it scraps the CPP's attempt to regulate emissions "beyond the fence line" - effectively statewide emissions - and focuses on GHG emissions from power plants themselves.

According to Mr. Wehrum, a former coal industry attorney, there would be "collateral effects" on pollutants compared to the Obama administration's proposed plan.

"This day was only possible because of a bipartisan collection of state attorneys general who stood up to the Obama administration and filed repeated legal challenges to the blatant overreach of executive power".

It is not clear how many coal power plant owners might take advantage of the opening to improve the facilities, amid stiff competition from cheap natural gas, and with no hint of price relief on the horizon.

"At exactly the time we should be sending a comprehensive signal for clean energy, we're totally squelching that signal", he added. The earlier rule never went into effect after legal challenges but would have required North Dakota to cut carbon dioxide emissions by almost 45 percent by 2030, causing concern among utility executives. The EPA called the Obama rules "overly prescriptive and burdensome".