EPA head announces plan to eliminate Obama’s signature climate policy

His decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan would make it tough for U.S. to fulfill the Paris Climate Agreement.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt talks to a reporter after speaking at Whayne Supply in Hazard, KY, on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.  Pruitt says the Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing global warming. CREDIT: AP Photo/Adam Beam
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt talks to a reporter after speaking at Whayne Supply in Hazard, KY, on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Pruitt says the Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing global warming. CREDIT: AP Photo/Adam Beam

Following through on a campaign promise, the Trump administration announced Monday that it plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, President Barack Obama’s signature climate policy regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and aimed at reducing global warming.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday in Kentucky that he plans to sign a proposed rule tomorrow repealing the plan, which aimed to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to the Associated Press.

“The war on coal is over,” Pruitt declared at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in Hazard, Kentucky.

The decision was not unexpected, as President Donald Trump has made the rollback of the regulation a top priority for his administration. The AP also reported that the EPA is expected to declare that the rule  a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s environmental policies exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.

“The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy,” Pruitt said on Monday.  

Previously, the Associated Press had obtained a 43-page document outlining the federal agency’s plan to repeal the policy, which noted that the EPA wouldn’t offer an immediate replacement to the policy, but would seek public input on whether to curb climate-warming emissions from coal and natural gas power plants.

In March, Trump signed an executive order calling for a review of the EPA, but Monday’s announcement marks the agency’s first formal step to eliminate the regulation.

Trump has voiced doubts about the science of climate change and has blamed Obama’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions for hurting the coal mining and oil drilling industries.  

Repealing the Clean Power Plan makes it less likely that the United States can fulfill its Paris climate agreement commitment to reduce emissions that are warming the planet and contributing to heat waves and sea-level rise, according to the New York Times.

In response to the administration’s announcement, the Natural Resources Defense Council posted on Twitter that the nonprofit plans to fight the proposed rule.

The Sierra Club also criticized the Trump administration’s decision describing the move as a “deadly mistake.”