What to know about the EPA’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants

By Michael Kohn, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) Environmentalists are concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency will not be able to regulate the pollution from power stations due to a loophole in its proposed rules.

The EPA on Wednesday unveiled a plan to revise the emissions rules for coal plants and power plants that burn coal, including a proposal to set a national target to cut emissions in half by 2030 from 1990 levels by burning less coal.

It’s part of an effort by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to boost American emissions and curb global warming to meet global climate targets agreed upon by the United States and other nations in Paris last year.

But many say the new rules could be too lax, especially as they’re being phased in over time.

Environmentalists say the EPA needs to act quickly to curb the pollution, which they say causes climate change.

The agency’s proposal, released on Wednesday, said emissions from existing power plants must be cut by 20 percent by 2030, while the average annual level of CO2 pollution from new power plants has increased more than 700 times since 1990.

That includes more than 3.5 million units of CO 2 emitted each year in the past decade, according to the EPA.

Power plants burn more coal, which makes up about 80 percent of the nation’s total power supply, than coal-fired plants, which use less coal to generate electricity.EPA spokesman Kevin Connor said the agency is “very optimistic” the new plan will get the required number of changes approved by the U.S. Senate and signed by Trump.

Environmental groups praised the proposal.

“It’s a significant step forward in the fight against climate change, but it’s only the beginning,” said Dan Steinberg, the president of the League of Conservation Voters.

“There’s still work to do and more than 1 million U.s. homes don’t have access to power,” Steinberg added.

He said it’s unclear if the rule will be enacted in the coming months.

It would be the first time the agency has required a national carbon-emissions target.

In the meantime, the EPA has made changes to other regulations to address the problem, including banning emissions of methane and other gases.

The EPA is also expected to require that carbon-capture technology be used to capture carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants.