Trump EPA Takes First Step to Gut Clean Power Plan

Donald Trump and Barack Obama

The Trump administration argues that the section can only be used to regulate a single source and that the Clean Power Plan "encompassed measures that would generally require power generators to change their energy portfolios through generation shifting" - rather regulating individual sources.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took its first formal step to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP), former President Obama's signature climate change policy to clean up carbon pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants-and a major target of President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's regulatory rollbacks.

The Clean Power Plan, or CPP, was challenged in court by 27 states after Obama's administration launched it in 2015.

That plan aimed to cut carbon emissions from power plants as part of the USA role in the worldwide Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

"Under the interpretation proposed in this notice, the CPP exceeds the EPA's statutory authority and would be repealed", the proposal says. McCabe said, "It certainly will draw the process out".

Some conservative groups have urged the EPA to scrap the CPP without replacing it, effectively ending USA regulation of carbon emissions.

Even so, the plan has been a factor in a wave of retirements of coal-fired plants, which also are being squeezed by lower costs for natural gas and renewable power and state mandates promoting energy conservation.

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The decision marks the EPA's first formal step to repeal the Obama administration rule meant to cut carbon emissions from power plants, after Pres. Trump signed an executive order in March launching a review. The EPA faces a Friday deadline to issue action on the CPP, which was put on hold by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in April. "They are denying it just as they are denying the science".

"The Clean Power Plan represented an unlawful attempt to transform the nation's power grid", said Hal Quinn, director of the National Mining Association lobby group.

The new plan will save an estimated 240 million tons of annual coal production and safeguard more than 27,000 mining jobs and nearly 100,000 additional jobs throughout the supply chain, he said.

Officials will announce their intention to repeal the Clean Power Plan soon and solicit comments on how to replace it, if at all, according to reports.

But the EPA is now set to say that a regulation affecting the broader electricity sector is outside the agency's purview.

In the leaked document, the Trump administration argues that repealing the Clean Power Plan could spare an estimated $33 billion in compliance costs in 2030, arguing that the Obama administration overstated the rule's potential health benefits.

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