Trump administration to abandon Obama-era clean power plan, EPA chief says


EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan - a federal rule requiring power plants to clean up their carbon pollution - threatens to sicken and kill tens of thousands of Americans and put millions more at risk from extreme weather and other impacts of climate change.

Pruitt made the announcement at an event in Hazard, Ky.

"If Administrator Pruitt plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, that would be a complete abdication of EPA's legal responsibility to protect our children's lungs from unsafe smokestack pollution and their homes from climate-destabilizing extreme weather", Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp said last week.

The Obama administration's cost-benefits analysis of the Clean Power Plan was "highly uncertain" in multiple areas, Bowman said, vowing that the Trump administration will present a range of scenarios to the public "in a robust, open and transparent way".

It was not immediately clear if Pruitt would seek to issue a new rule without congressional approval, which Republicans had criticized the Obama administration for doing.

The Supreme Court put the plan on hold a year ago following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states.

Coal-fired power plants are among the largest emitters of carbon.

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The EPA has not decided whether it will replace the Clean Power Plan after it moves to repeal it, according to a draft of the proposal seen by Reuters on Friday.

The Clean Power Plan, created by executive order in 2015, is the key component of the U.S.'s Paris Agreement pledge to combat climate change.

As Oklahoma's attorney general, he took part in a lawsuit by 27 U.S. states against the rule.

In the absence of stricter federal regulations curbing greenhouse gas emissions, many states have issued their own mandates promoting energy conservation. A plant-specific approach "would be grossly insufficient to address the public health and environmental impacts from Carbon dioxide emissions", Obama's EPA said.

While the Supreme Court has concluded that EPA is obligated to regulate greenhouse gases, "this administration has no intention of following the law", said McCarthy, who led the EPA when the Clean Power Plan was completed.

"By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration will throw out an affordable, flexible, and life-saving plan to cut unsafe carbon pollution from power plants, giving the fossil fuel industry a free pass to keep polluting our air while our families pay the price", Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said today in a statement.