Pruitt made the announcement at a coal-focused event in Hazard, Ky., alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children's health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.).
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.
This is the latest example of how the Trump administration is aggressively targeting Obama-era regulations and other efforts to prepare and respond to climate change, from announcing plans to withdraw the USA from the Paris climate accord to axing restrictions on building in flood zones.
Despite the EPA's decision under Trump, Bruce Ho of the NRDC said that the governors of the nine states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will continue to cut emissions at their states' power plants by 30 percent by 2030-building on the Initiative's achievement of cutting emissions to 79.2 million tons last year-already reaching their earlier 2030 target. The past administration was unapologetic. "The EPA welcomes comment on the legal interpretation addressed in this proposed rulemaking".
"Rolling back the Clean Power Plan has been part of Pruitt's agenda since well before he was approved to run the EPA", said 350.org executive director May Boeve. They were using every bit of power, every bit of authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers on how we generate electricity in this country. And they are still pushing the Trump administration to be creative now.
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The Clean Power Plan, the most controversial of all the environmental measures put forth during the Obama administration, has never taken effect because of legal challenges and a stay by the U.S. Supreme Court.
"The Supreme Court has concluded multiple times that EPA is obligated by law to move forward with action to regulate greenhouse gases", said McCarthy, "but this administration has no intention of following the law".
Environmentalists have been sharply critical of Pruitt's repeal plan.
"Under the interpretation proposed in this notice, the CPP exceeds the EPA's statutory authority and would be repealed", the proposal reads.
"I am proud to lead the coalition of states and localities defending the Clean Power Plan in federal court", he said in a statement.
"No matter who is in the White House, the EPA is legally required to limit risky carbon pollution, and the Clean Power Plan is an achievable, affordable way to do that", said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.