EPA to withdraw from Obama-era Clean Power Plan

Marc St. Gil  Documerica

Marc St. Gil Documerica

A draft proposal of the Environmental Protection Agency's looming decision, leaked late last week and posted online, says the plan - which would have limited carbon emissions from power plants and, in the process, drastically reduced the amount of coal-generated electricity in the us - goes beyond the bounds of federal law and unnecessarily hikes energy prices for consumers.

In Colorado, the Clean Power Plan called for a 28 percent reduction in overall carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 against 2012 levels.

"The war on coal is over", Pruitt declared at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in Hazard, Kentucky.

Pruitt said the EPA should not use its authority "to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy".

Despite the EPA administrator's rhetoric, the Obama plan was never enforced.

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The EPA now says the Clean Power Plan introduced by Obama in 2015 was illegal. Today's announcement from Pruitt is an expected result of that order.

The Supreme Court put the plan on hold previous year following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states.

But trade organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers, which participated in a legal challenge to the plan, praised it.

"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. The utilities are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for climate change. The plan was also an integral part of the commitment US officials made as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, for which some 200 countries committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and from which President Trump has said he plans to withdraw. Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma's attorney general and joined a lawsuit challenging the carbon limits.

"By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration will throw out an affordable, flexible, and life-saving plan to cut risky 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. One of the moves the current White House made was announcing it would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the biggest global document and rulebook about ecology in history.

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