EPA Readying Tuesday Rollout to Repeal Clean Power Plan, Pruitt Says

Violet Powell
October 10, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to declare the Obama-era rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.

Under the Clean Power Plan, US power plants would reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, 32% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

There was already an investigation underway into EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's controversial flights, and as the Washington Post reports, that examination is now broadening.

While the Supreme Court has concluded that EPA is obligated to regulate greenhouse gases, "this administration has no intention of following the law", said McCarthy, who led the EPA when the Clean Power Plan was completed. He said ending the plan would take pressure off some cash-strapped utilities that still relied on coal-fired power plants.

"Here's the president's message: The war on coal is over", EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told a gathering in the Kentucky coal-country town of Hazard. The U.S. Supreme Court issued an unprecedented stay against the rule in early 2016.

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Mr Pruitt said he would sign the proposed rule to begin withdrawing from the plan on Tuesday. Almost 200 countries have committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

"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. It's pretty embarrassing that they don't actually have a different plan ready to go, they just see something that's good for the environment and want to destroy it. The administration will ask whether the EPA can or should develop a replacement rule - and, if so, what actions can be mandated at individual power plants.

"By saving an estimated 240 million tons of annual coal production, the administrator's action helps to safeguard more than 27,000 mining jobs and nearly 100,000 additional jobs throughout the supply chain", Hal Quinn, CEO of the National Mining Association, said in a statement.

The Obama administration claimed the CPP would only cost $8.4 billion and deliver public health and climate benefits ranging from $14 to $34 billion by 2030. The Clean Power Plan was created to prompt a shift away from coal-fired power and toward cleaner energy sources, like natural gas, wind and solar.

"When you think about what that rule meant, that rule really was about picking winners and losers".

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