EPA to repeal Obama-era rule


The Trump administration will withdraw from the Clean Power Plan, meant to slow down climate change, a landmark rule created during the Obama administration.

On Monday, Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief, confirmed that he intended to sign a formal proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which called for a 32 percent cut in the carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. power sector.

“Tomorrow, in Washington, D.C., I’ll be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan from the past administration, and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule,” Pruitt told a crowd at a coal-focused event in Hazard, Ky. There with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Pruitt’s visit was reportedly unannounced.

The Obama rule was expected to significantly hurt the coal industry, as coal-fired power plants are the biggest carbon emitters. His message was well received by the crowd, which erupted in applause at the news.

“That rule really was about picking winners and losers,” Pruitt continued. “Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers. The past administration was unapologetic. They were using every bit of power, every bit of authority, to use the EPA to pick winners and losers in how we generate electricity in this country. And that’s wrong.”

In withdrawing from the plan, a key pillar of former President Barack Hussein Obama’s aggressive climate agenda crumbles. Obama used executive authority to push the fight against climate change after Congress refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation in 2010.

As the GOP and fossil fuel industries railed against the Clean Power Plan, it was never enforced but was placed on hold by the Supreme Court. In 2016, the court blocked it to allow litigation to proceed.

Pruitt, who was Oklahoma’s Republican attorney general at the time, was a leader in that court battle.

The proposed repeal was leaked to the press Friday. According to reports, the repeal states the former administration exceeded the EPA’s authority, under the Clean Air Act, with the rule.

“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 reportedly states.

The proposed repeal fulfills one of President Donald J. Trump’s signature campaign promises to undo the rule.

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