Pruitt’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan starts today

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will sign a proposed rule Tuesday afternoon repealing the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda.

The proposed rule marks a key milestone in President Trump’s plan to roll back Obama’s legacy in meeting his campaign promise to scrap the rule, which requires states to cut greenhouse gas emissions one-third by 2030..

On top of the proposed repeal, Tuesday’s rule also is expected to ask for comments from the energy industry and stakeholders on a potential replacement for the strict regulations on power plants.

Critics of the rule point out that Pruitt is not focused on the effects repealing the rule would have on public health nor on the cost of increased pollution.

Pruitt is instead focused on the economic impact of the rule as a job killer. He argues that the rule is illegal under the Clean Air Act.

Higher cost of electricity: Pruitt’s proposed rule will show the “significant effect” the Clean Power Plan will have on electricity prices, according to a leaked draft of the rule. The leak showed that the Obama plan would raise electric costs 1 to 2 percent across the U.S. by 2025.

Coal plant losses: The Trump EPA also justifies the repeal by demonstrating that if allowed to move forward, the Clean Power Plan would have scuttled 22 to 23 percent of the coal-fired power plant fleet.

Higher natural gas prices: “The EPA also estimated that the utility power sector-delivered natural gas prices would increase by up to 2.5 percent in 2030. A repeal of the CPP would directionally have the opposite impact,” according to the leaked rule.

Obama pushed the bounds: “We can’t comment on the authenticity of the document, but what we can say is that the Obama administration pushed the bounds of their authority so far that the Supreme Court issued a stay – the first in history – to prevent the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ from taking effect,” said EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman in an email to the Washington Examiner.

Obama’s ‘uncertain’ cost assessment: “The facts are that the Obama administration’s estimates and analysis of costs and benefits was, in multiple areas, highly uncertain and/or controversial,” Bowman said. “The Trump administration is, in a robust, open, and transparent way, presenting a wide range of analysis scenarios to the public.”

Read more of this The Washington Examiner article by John Siciliano and Josh Seigel by clicking here.

Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters