EPA chief to sign rule on Clean Power Plan exit on Tuesday

Frederick Owens
October 10, 2017

The Trump administration is making "a wholesale retreat from EPA's legal, scientific and moral obligation to address the threats of climate change", said former Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy, the architect of Obama's Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan required states to devise a way to cut planet-warming emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.

"I'm excited to be with you here today because it's not just to visit about all the things we're doing which I think is very, very important for this country", Pruitt said Monday morning at an event in Hazard, Kentucky.

Speaking in Kentucky on Monday, Pruitt said he will sign a proposed rule on Tuesday "to withdraw the so-called clean power plan of the past administration".

"90 some nearly 100 coal plants that has already been imploded by Obama's rules", said Clark Pergrem, Manager/Operator of NFC Mining and Onyx Coal Sales.

"The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country".

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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.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican, sued the Obama administration over the Clean Power Plan, calling it an EPA overstep. Pruitt, however, can probably expect a new wave of litigation from the other side of the debate, as environmentalist groups and allied Democrats are sure to challenge the rollback. He and others who took legal action contend the agency doesn't have authority under the federal Clean Air Act to enact such sweeping changes to how power plants are run. Utilities shelved coal projects in preparation of the rule, and coal-fired facilities were scheduled to shut down because it would be virtually impossible for them to comply with the emissions mandates and remain financially viable.

CNN obtained a copy of the leaked proposal to repeal the milestone Clean Power Plan, the outcome of President Donald Trump's executive orders calling for the review of the plan and questions the legality of the original rule.

The EPA won't prescribe an immediate replacement to the plan, but will seek public comment on whether to curb climate-warming emissions from coal and natural gas power plants. A plant-specific approach "would be grossly insufficient to address the public health and environmental impacts from Carbon dioxide emissions", Obama's EPA said.

"No matter who is in the White House, the EPA is legally required to limit unsafe carbon pollution, and the Clean Power Plan is an achievable, affordable way to do that", said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

"By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration will throw out an affordable, flexible, and life-saving plan to cut unsafe carbon pollution from power plants, giving the fossil fuel industry a free pass to keep polluting our air while our families pay the price", Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said today in a statement.

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