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


The Clean Power Plan helped each state establish new carbon goals to put them on track to reduce emissions by 32 percent before 2030.

"Here's the president's message: The war on coal is over", EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told a gathering in the Kentucky coal-country town of Hazard.

EPA says repealing the rule will save Americans $33 billion in compliance costs.

"Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers", Pruitt said.

Pruitt's attempt is the latest in the Trump Administration's unsafe campaign of climate change denial, and is a wake-up call for state and local leaders: if you want to protect your citizens, it's time to take action yourselves because the Trump-Pruitt EPA has shown it's more interested in protecting polluters than the health of Americans.

Pruitt also argues that the Obama administration overstated the benefits of its rule by factoring in the gains from curbing global warming in other countries as well as from reducing harmful air pollutants other than carbon dioxide. Pruitt, however, can probably expect a new wave of litigation from the other side of the debate, as environmentalist groups and allied Democrats are sure to challenge the rollback.

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The Supreme Court put the plan on hold previous year.

On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to bring back coal mining jobs and dismantle Obama's environmental policy, declaring climate change a "hoax".

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. The Clean Power Plan was created to prompt a shift away from coal-fired power and toward cleaner energy sources, like natural gas, wind and solar.

As Oklahoma's attorney general, he took part in a lawsuit by 27 U.S. states against the rule. It was a key part of the USA commitment to reduce emissions as part of the Paris climate agreement. It also aims to transition from coal-based energy to wind, solar and natural gas power. Almost 200 countries have committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

The proposed repeal, which was leaked to the press Friday, centers on the argument that the Obama administration exceeded the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act with the rule.

The proposal suggests that if there's a replacement rule, it would focus more narrowly on efficiency limits at specific power plants, rather than the broader approach taken by the Clean Power Plan.