EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced on Tuesday that he would sign a proposal that would end the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.
The Clean Power Plan, according to the former administration, was meant to reduce carbon emissions from power plans which burn coal. States were required to meet certain emissions goals. President Trump ordered a review of the program back in March.
Pruit maintains that the former policy was unfair, and was more about government deciding which power plants will succeed and which will fail than it was about clean power.
Several Democrats support the plan, claiming it as a victory to help stave off global warming. Pruit himself, and several others who’ve challenged the plan, say it attacks struggling coal businesses and is a thinly disguised form of crony capitalism.
Fox News reports:
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is moving to scrap the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature regulatory program to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Pruitt made the announcement at an event in Hazard, Ky., casting the previous policy as unfair.
“That rule really was about picking winners and losers,” Pruitt said. “The past administration was unapologetic, they were using every bit of power, authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers on how we pick electricity in this country. That is wrong” […]
The move to officially nix the program was expected, following Trump’s vow to end what he calls the “war on coal.” Pruitt, however, can likely expect a new wave of litigation from the other side of the debate, as environmentalist groups and allied Democrats are sure to challenge the rollback.
The soon to be scrapped plan expanded the EPA’s power far beyond the Clean Air Act. It has been a subject of controversy since it was put in place in August 2015.
The Clean Power Plan places higher costs on consumers, and harms already struggling businesses. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, it causes Americans to “pay more for less power”:
Historically, states have been responsible for the generation and retail provision of electricity, focusing on three goals: affordability, reliability and use of local fuel sources. The Clean Power Plan would dump these sensible state-determined goals and replace them with a federal mandate of reducing carbon production, specifically greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The result will be more expensive and less reliable power for all Americans in exchange for negligible health or environmental benefits.
The heartland states, consumers who rely on affordable electricity from coal-fired plants, will be hit the hardest by skyrocketing electric and gas bills.
The plan will also prematurely retire large quantities of reliable coal-based power while pushing intermittent renewable sources higher in the “merit order of dispatch.” This could complicate the task of balancing loads and threaten grid reliability.
Yet another overreaching Obama-era policy, which gives too much power to those who don’t know what’s best for state infrastructures, will soon bite the dust.
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