WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2017 - The Environmental Protection Agency plans to repeal the so-called Clean Power Plan and seek public input on how best to cut emissions from natural-gas and coal-fired power plants.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt heralded the move Monday in a speech to coal miners in Hazard, Ky.
Standing with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Pruitt said, “The war against coal is over,” and assured the miners that he will repeal the rule that requires states to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants by one-third by 2030.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., applauded Pruitt’s announcement, calling the CPP one of the most expensive and burdensome Obama administration energy policies.
“With today’s announcement, hardworking Missourians no longer have to fear that they’ll be facing a double-digit increase in their utility bills because of the previous administration’s harmful energy regulations,” Blunt said. “The excessive new rules would have amounted to an additional tax any time someone flipped on a light switch, harvested a crop, or paid for groceries. I applaud the Trump administration for delivering on its promise to provide relief for the low and middle-income families that would have been hit hardest by these regulations. I will continue working with the administration to advance a true all-of-the-above energy policy that will allow our most energy-intensive industries, like agriculture and manufacturing, to continue growing and creating good-paying jobs.”
According to a NERA Economic Consulting study, the Obama administration’s energy regulations would have added up to $39 billion in annual compliance costs. Missourians have historically relied on coal to power over 80 percent of our electricity, Blunt said in a release.
Meanwhile, legal challenges opposing and supporting the plan are likely to continue.
The Supreme Court blocked the regulation’s implementation last year after 28 states and a host of other opponents challenged its legality. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments on the case last year, but has not yet issued a ruling.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday he would sue the Trump administration for repealing the Clean Power Plan.
“By seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan, especially without any credible commitment to replacing it, the Trump administration’s campaign of climate-change denial continues, once again putting industry special interests ahead of New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ safety, health and the environment,” the Democrat said.
“The Trump administration’s persistent and indefensible denial of climate change – and their continued assault on actions essential to stemming its increasing devastation – is reprehensible, and I will use every available legal tool to fight their dangerous agenda.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, welcomed Pruitt’s action.
“We have always believed that there is a better way to approach greenhouse gas regulations than the CPP,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “The CPP exceeded EPA’s authority, but we are optimistic that a true collaboration between the federal government, states, and affected stakeholders will provide a more durable and achievable approach. We welcome the opportunity to work with the EPA and other stakeholders to develop power plant standards that lower emissions, preserve America’s energy advantage, and respect the bounds of the Clean Air Act.”
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