WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is poised to roll back a significant climate change regulation on coal-fired power plants, making it easier to build new coal plants in the United States.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce the plan on Thursday, according to four people familiar with the administration’s proposal who were not authorized to speak about it publicly. The proposal will eliminate Obama-era restrictions on newly built coal plants that in effect required them to include systems to capture the carbon dioxide they produced — a technology that is still not in use on a commercial scale.
The replacement measure eases those constraints, sending a powerful signal to the coal industry, as well as to other countries struggling with the political difficulties of addressing climate change, that the United States is trying to pave the way for coal-burning plants.
The move is not expected to lead to the immediate construction of new coal plants, which aren’t financially viable because of a combination of cheap natural gas and other environmental regulations. But the Trump administration’s proposal is the latest message that the federal government is embracing the industry.