Trump Administration Announces Repeal of Obama-era Clean Power Plan

Erik Calonius  Documerica

Erik Calonius Documerica

The combination of severe limitations on carbon dioxide emissions and incentives for adopting alternative-energy schemes was meant to achieve exactly what Barack Obama had previously promised to do: ruin the coal industry. (The plan still could have taken effect if it survived the battle in the courts.) Nonetheless, the regulations were seen as key to meet the emission reduction goals set by the Paris agreement, a landmark deal that commits nearly every country in the world to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to fight global warming.

Pruitt said, "The war on coal is over". The current president had a big portion of the campaign devoted to reassuring coal miners around the country that he would implement policies which will give new energy and meaning to a declining industry.

Environmental groups blasted the announcement Monday.

"With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health", Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said. Previously, the EPA estimated that the Clean Power Plan would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks, 300,000 missed work and school days, and 3,600 premature deaths annually by 2030.[1] These health impacts of climate change disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income families.

When the rule was finalized in 2015, power plants were the largest source of U.S. climate pollution, comprising 31% of the nation's emissions. Tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

This resulted in court challenges from industrial groups and more than 20 states argued that the EPA can only look at cleanup measures that can be undertaken at the plants themselves.

The EPA is required to regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that the gases qualify as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Whereas the Paris Accords have to do with the whole world's commitment to addressing climate change, though, the the Clean Power Plan falls strictly within the confines of domestic policy - and now it won't be in effect any longer. Pruitt says the Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing global warming.

"That rule really was about picking winners and losers", the EPA administrator said, adding that the rule change would be signed on Tuesday. Alas, like pretty much any positive thing that Obama achieved during his presidential tenure, the Trump administration is hell-bent on destroying it.

Regardless, the move to do away with the Clean Power Plan received high praise from the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance. According to The New York Time, the U.S. would save $33 billion by not complying with the Clean Power Plan. It was fiercely opposed by many lawmakers in conservative-leaning states, including Pruitt, who was Oklahoma's attorney general at the time.

The proposal also says the EPA has yet to determine whether it will create an additional rule on the regulation of greenhouse gases. Earlier this summer, Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Accord, an worldwide climate change agreement that sought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The revocation of the rule is sure to draw a legal challenge from the existing rule's proponents. That's what The Hill is reporting, which got a copy of its proposal and said that effort could begin as early as this week.

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