EPA To Cancel Obama's Clean Power Plan

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The Environmental Protection Agency intends to cancel the Clean Power Plan, a policy launched by the Obama administration to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is set to unveil the proposal Oct. 10, after which a period of public consultation will begin, CNN reported.

Pruitt justified his decision at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

"When you think about what that rule meant, it was about picking winners and losers," said Pruitt, according to CNN. "Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers. The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country. That's wrong."

CNN obtained a leaked copy of the proposal.

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"Under the interpretation proposed in this notice, the CPP exceeds the EPA's statutory authority and would be repealed," the proposal stated. "The EPA welcomes comment on the legal interpretation addressed in this proposed rulemaking."

The EPA's notice does not offer a replacement plan to regulate emissions.

The Obama administration saw the CPP as a means to work towards achieving the United States' goals under the Paris climate agreement. It contained the aim of reducing emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Gina McCarthy, Obama's EPA administrator, criticized the Trump administration's plan to cancel the CPP.

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"A proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan without any time line or even a commitment to propose a rule to reduce carbon pollution, isn't a step forward, it's a wholesale retreat from EPA's legal, scientific and moral obligation to address the threats of climate change," added McCarthy.

Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, also responded negatively.

"No matter who is in the White House, the EPA is legally required to limit dangerous carbon pollution, and the Clean Power Plan is an achievable, affordable way to do that," stated Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director. "It is a key element in continuing the progress moving toward clean energy and retiring coal."

Brune harshly outlined the potential effects of abolishing the regulations.

"With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health, our climate, and the safety of every community in the United States," added Brune, according to the Washington Post. "He's proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year."

However, EPA spokesman Liz Bowman argued that Pruitt's announcement, made in front of coal miners in Kentucky, was appropriate.

"He's speaking directly to people in coal county about how the rule negatively affected the whole industry," she told the Post.

Sources: CNN, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: U.S. Department of Energy/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, U.S. Department of Energy/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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