The Latest: Rollback of Obama-era rule for coal-fired plants

The Latest: Rollback of Obama-era rule for coal-fired plants
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, left, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler applaud as they listen to President Donald Trump speak at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on an environmental rule covering coal-fired power plants (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

The Trump administration has rolled back a landmark Obama-era effort targeting coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution.

It’s replacing the Obama rule with a less ambitious one that gives states more discretion in regulating those power plants.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler calls it a sign that “fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix” in the U.S. energy supply.

President Donald Trump campaigned partly on a pledge to bring back the U.S. coal industry, which has been hit hard by competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy.

The rule will go into effect shortly after publication in the Federal Register. Environmental groups pledge court challenges.

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12:25 a.m.

The Trump administration is close to completing one of its biggest rollbacks of environmental rules.

Lawmakers, environmentalists and others are readying for an announcement about a replacement for an Obama-era regulation that sought to limit coal-fired plants in the nation’s electrical grid.

The Clean Power Plan was one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts to curb climate-changing emissions.

Critics of the Obama administration say it overstepped its legal authority in issuing the power plant rule. Those opposing the rollback say it will worsen climate change and increase deaths from coal-plant pollution.