Trump Administration Announces Plans To Dismantle Obama's Environmental Rules
Obama's Clean Power Plan reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Emit as you will, Trump administration says.
October 09, 2017 at 9:40 pm
Over the last few months, the Trump administration has worked hard to dismantle Obama-era regulations and to nullify Obama’s executive orders.
This week, Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, announced that he will sign documents that request the government repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan that forces power plants to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses they release, Slate reports.
Pruitt called the rule unfair, saying it “was about picking winners and losers,” and called it part of “the war on coal,” which he declared officially “over.”
“The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy,” Pruitt added.
Pruitt’s hated Obama’s rule since the beginning. Back in the Obama days, when he was just a humble state attorney general, Pruitt joined other state attorney generals in a lawsuit that tried to stop the rule from taking effect.
According to the Washington Post, the document Pruitt is set to sign argues that the government has no authority to mandate that utility companies meet federal emissions goals.
Although there may be some legal basis for this argument, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is the EPA’s duty to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
Pruitt’s plan sees the EPA deregulating carbon dioxide emissions, which would appear, based on the ruling of the highest court, to be illegal.
The EPA has stated that it does plan to do something to cap carbon dioxide emissions, but that it wants to hear from the American people about what ought to be done.
Some of those American people, who happen to make up the Sierra Club, an organization devoted to protecting the environment, were more than happy to share their thoughts.
“No matter who is in the White House, the EPA is legally required to limit dangerous carbon pollution,” the Sierra Club’s executive director, Michael Brune, said according to Reuters, “The Clean Power Plan is an achievable, affordable way to do that.”
Brune added that the Obama-era plan is all that prevents “thousands of premature deaths, and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year.”
The chief of the National Rural Electric Association, Jim Matheson, on the other hand, was all for Pruitt’s plan. Matheson said repealing the rule would allow for “reliable, affordable power” that “can meet … individual consumers’ needs.”
The Clean Power plan would have cut the U.S.’ carbon pollution by 33 percent by 2030, putting it on track to meet targets agreed to at the Paris Climate Accords.
The Trump administration has, of course, said that it does not intend to honor those agreements, making the nation’s failure to meet its target a moot point.
As with Obama’s rule, Pruitt’s plan has raised the rancor of several state attorney generals, including those serving California, Massachusetts and New York. They plan to challenge the Pruitt plan in court. Slate believes their challenge could very well end up going all the way up to the Supreme Court.