According to a document obtained by Reuters, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose to eliminate Obama’s infamous environmental Clean Power Plan (CPP) regulation.
The report, if confirmed, would signal the Trump’s administrations’ first step towards eliminating Obama’s environment rule intended to curb power plants’ carbon emissions.
The EPA document, which was distributed to members of the environmental agency’s Regulatory Steering Committee, said that the EPA “is issuing a proposal to repeal the rule.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March ordering a review of the Clean Power Plan as well as other environmental regulations. Instead of Obama’s stifling energy regulations, the Trump administration will promote policies that favor American “energy dominance.”
The Obama administration designed the Clean Power Plan to lower carbon emissions from existing power plants by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels. Conservatives widely viewed the Clean Power Plan, along with the Paris Climate Treaty, to be part of Obama’s “war on coal.”
Twenty-six states challenged the EPA’s Clean Power Plan in court after the Obama administration launched the rule in 2015. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals suspended the rule and set a deadline for this Friday, ordering the EPA to send a status report on how it plans to proceed on the Clean Power Plan.
The report details how the EPA intends to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would gather input from industry officials and interested parties on how to revise or rescind the CPP.
Industry sources expect the EPA to release the proposal to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan as early as the end of this week.
Janet McCabe, a senior EPA official under Obama, said that an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking could take years. McCabe said, “It certainly will draw the process out.”
Conservative groups have urged the EPA to eliminate the CPP without replacing the climate rule, while industry groups want a replacement of the rule to give industry groups regulatory certainty and avoid potential lawsuits from environmental groups.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt criticized the Clean Power Plan earlier this year, calling the regulation, “unlawful.” Pruitt said, “This is an effort to undo the unlawful approach the previous administration engaged in,” he said of the president’s executive order, “and to do it right going forward with the mindset of being pro-growth and pro-environment.”