EPA chief begins repeal of Clean Power Plan

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt announced he is taking the first step in repealing the Clean...
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt announced he is taking the first step in repealing the Clean Power Plan on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 10, 2017 at 12:52 PM EDT
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EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is taking the first step in rolling back the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. Pruitt announced the plan during a visit to Kentucky on Monday. Majority Leader and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell joined him during stops in Hazard and Paris.

On Tuesday, Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which calls for the repeal of the Clean Power Plan or CPP. The CPP requires coal-fired plants to begin reducing CO2 emissions. The Supreme Court placed the law on hold because of several lawsuits. Pruitt says the Obama administration overstepped its authority in making the plan.

"The Obama administration pushed the bounds of their authority so far with the CPP that the Supreme Court issued a historic stay of the rule, preventing its devastating effects to be imposed on the American people while the rule is being challenged in court," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a news release issued Tuesday. "We are committed to righting the wrongs of the Obama administration by cleaning the regulatory slate. Any replacement rule will be done carefully, properly, and with humility, by listening to all those affected by the rule."

Senator McConnell issued a statement on Pruitt's action, saying “I was proud to join Administrator Scott Pruitt yesterday as he announced in Kentucky coal country that the EPA will begin the formal process to repeal former President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan. I applaud the Trump administration and Administrator Pruitt for supporting Kentucky miners and for taking steps to overturn one of the main pillars in the Obama War on Coal. Today’s announcement will help protect Kentucky’s reliable and dependable energy source from further regulatory assault."

Several environmental groups oppose the repeal and have said they plan to challenge it in federal court. On Monday, the Kentucky Conservation Committee expressed concern over the health effects of a repeal.

"If it is a health hazard, then let's get these workers train into the new economy in something that can really grow," said Lane Boldman with the Kentucky Conservation Committee.

According to the news release, the proposed repeal both examines the Obama administration's cost-benefit analysis, as well as provides insights to support an updated analysis of the environmental, health, and economic effects of the proposed repeal. The Trump administration estimates the proposed repeal could provide up to $33 billion in avoided compliance costs in 2030.

The EPA has sent its call for a repeal to the Federal Register for publication. Once it's published, the public will have 60 days to submit comments.