Oct. 9 (UPI) — The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to repeal the Obama administration’s landmark climate change rules for power plants, the agency’s head said Monday.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt said plans to repeal former President Barack Obama‘s Clean Power Plan — which mandated cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants and was a key part of the United States’ commitment to the global Paris climate agreement.
“I’ll be signing a proposed rule [Tuesday] to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan from the past administration, and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule,” Pruitt said.
The Clean Power Plan, though never enforced, aimed for a 32 percent reduction in the carbon emissions of the nation’s power sector.
According to Pruitt, the EPA plans to argue that the Obama administration violated the Clean Air Act by requiring those broad changes in the electricity sector.
The repeal of the environmental regulations will implement one of Trump’s campaign promises to undo the rules.
“Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers. The past administration was unapologetic,” Pruitt added.
“They were using every bit of power, every bit of authority, to use the EPA to pick winners and losers in how we generate electricity in this country. And that’s wrong.”
Environmentalists have voiced concerns about the planned repeal.
“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 dangerous smokestack pollution and their homes from climate-destabilizing extreme weather,” Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund said last week.