EPA administrator announces intent to change Clean Power Plan policy
The Trump administration’s special focus on backspacing President Barack Obama’s legacy continued this week when the Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt drilled into Hazard, Kentucky listeners on Monday, a vision where the “war on coal is over.”
By Tuesday, Pruitt signed a rule that would signal a shift from aspirational Obama-era policy in the Clean Power Plan. President Barack Obama worked to decrease carbon emissions from power plants by about a third by 2030, when compared with 2005 levels.
The Clean Power Plan, which was finalized in 2015, would have nudged states toward greener, cleaner energies. But by March of this year, President Donald Trump signed the “Executive Order on Energy Independence,” which sought review of the Clean Power Plan.
According to the New York Times, Pruitt’s new proposal “makes it less likely that the United States can fulfill its promise as part of the Paris climate agreement to ratchet down emissions that are warming the planet and contributing to heat waves and sea-level rise.”
Pruitt explained his rationale in commercial terms.
“When you think about what that rule meant, it was about picking winners and losers. Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers,” Pruitt said. “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. That’s wrong.”
Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization with international offices, noted Pruitt’s history as a climate change denier and predicted that his leadership of the EPA would take “America further away from climate solutions and the global clean energy revolution and toward planetary disaster.” The NGO asserted, “More people care about climate change than voted for Trump. He is on the wrong side of this issue. If climate change denial is going to be the default position of the Trump White House, then relentless resistance will be the default position of the American people.”