The Trump Administration Says It Will Axe Obama's Signature Climate Rule

Erik Calonius  Documerica

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday in Kentucky that he plans to sign a proposed rule tomorrow repealing the plan, which aimed to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to the Associated Press.

Pruitt, who sued EPA over the rule when he was Oklahoma attorney general, slammed the Obama administration today during his remarks.

Eliminating the rule would make it hard for the USA to fulfil its promise to cut emissions as part of the Paris Climate accord, a 2015 worldwide agreement which President Obama signed with almost 200 other countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming.

"Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers".

"The Supreme Court has concluded multiple times that EPA is obligated by law to move forward with action to regulate greenhouse gases", said McCarthy, "but this administration has no intention of following the law".

Obama's plan was created to cut USA carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The past administration was unapologetic.

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"The EPA proposes to take this action because it proposes to determine that the rule exceeds its authority under the statute, that those portions of the rule which arguably do not exceed its authority are not severable and separately implementable, and that it is not appropriate for a rule that exceeds statutory authority - especially a rule of this magnitude and with this level of impact on areas of traditional state regulatory authority - to remain in existence pending a potential, successive rulemaking process", it says.

The proposal will start to implement one of Trump's signature campaign promises and a top request by the fossil fuel industry and congressional Republicans to undo the rule. Soon after it was introduced, a number of states challenged the legality of the plan and 29 went so far as to petition the Supreme Court to halt its implementation until a court could review it.

"A decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan is a choice that puts American lives at greater risk from unhealthy air and the health harms from climate change", the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, representing 400,000 clinical practitioners, said in a statement following Pruitt's announcement.

The planned repeal of the Clean Power Plan has sparked outrage among environmental groups.

He also made time to chat with officials from the Family Research Council, a right-wing culture-war organization, which at first blush, pushes social issues that are unrelated to the EPA's work.

"The Clean Power Plan achieved a thoughtful, balanced approach that gave companies and states considerable flexibility on how best to pursue that goal", said Melissa Lavinson, vice president of federal affairs and policy for PG&E's Pacific Gas and Electric utility.

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