By KENDALL GILFILLAN
The Trump Administration announced Monday morning that they will be taking formal steps to repeal the Clean Power Plan– beginning with filing the repeal proposal in the Federal Register on Tuesday morning.
Put in place to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the Clean Power Plan urged states to look to sources of electricity other than coal. Unveiled in 2015, it had an expected trajectory of cutting power sector emissions by 32 percent by 2030 (relative to 2005).
Now, the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) has announced that this policy will be reversed.
The announcement of the repeal comes as part of a fulfilled promise made by Trump to eradicate his predecessor’s environmental legacy.
In turn, the repeal also indicates an inability to fulfil the United States’ promise to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement is a worldwide attempt to lower emissions that are warming the planet and contributing to heat waves and rises in sea-levels.
Three months ago Trump threatened to pull out of the Paris agreement– a move that would make the United States the only country other than Syria to not be a part of the agreement. Administration officials (Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security advisor HR McMaster) have since signaled that they will not leave the agreement “under the right conditions.” However, this repeal proposal seems to suggest otherwise.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A., argues that the Clean Power Plan was the product of the Obama Administration exceeding its legal authority. Moreover, he appeals to the fact that the repeal comes with saving $33 billion by not complying with the regulations and rejects the stated health benefits of the policy.
In an address to a crowd in Hazard, Kentucky on Monday, Pruitt stated that he “would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar,” referring to production and investment tax credit, respectively.
“I’d let them stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources, and let utilities make real-time market decisions on those types of things,” he continued on.
Environmental groups and several states have already indicated intent to challenge the repeal of the Clean Power Plan in federal courts on both scientific and economic grounds.
Kendall Gilfillan is the Associate Editor of Style Home Page. A Nashville native recently returned from London, she is excited to explore and empower Nashville with a new eye. Follow along with her adventures at @kmgilfillan.