Trump admin takes formal step to repeal Obama's clean power plan
October 12,2017 By:Xinhua
|October 12, 2017 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a formal step on Tuesday to repeal measures put in place by former U.S. President Barack Obama that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, proposing to repeal the so-called Clean Power Plan because it "exceeds the agency's statutory authority."
"We are committed to righting the wrongs of the Obama administration by cleaning the regulatory slate," Pruitt said in a statement.
"Any replacement rule will be done carefully, properly, and with humility, by listening to all those affected by the rule," he said.
The EPA has sent the notice to the Federal Register for publication and the public will now have 60 days to submit comments.
It's an unastonishing move because President Donald Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax," has already announced in June that his country will leave the Paris Agreement on curbing global warming.
His administration considered efforts to fight climate change just to "be a waste of your money," a position met with widespread criticism both at home and abroad.
The Clean Power Plan, issued by the Obama administration in 2015, required coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, but it was put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court in a five to four decision in February 2016.
In March this year, Trump signed an executive order, directing the EPA to "suspend, revise, or rescind" the Obama-era regulation.
The agency said Tuesday that repealing the plan will "facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources."
More specifically, the Trump administration claimed that the proposed repeal could provide up to 33 billion U.S. dollars in avoided compliance costs in 2030.
Gina McCarthy, the EPA administrator under Obama who released the Clean Power Plan, however, said in a statement that a proposal to repeal it "without any timeline or even a commitment to propose a rule to reduce carbon pollution, isn't a step forward."
"The (current) administration is using contrived problems with our energy system to take money out of consumers' pockets and giving it to fossil fuel companies, so they can force a shift away from clean energy and back to dirty fossil fuel," she said.