Trump’s EPA Chief Says States Don’t Have To Worry About ‘Coercive Federalism’ Anymore

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt said Thursday that state governors are no longer compelled to comply with Obama-era climate regulations like the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

“The days of coercive federalism are over,” Scott Pruitt wrote in a letter to state governors. The former Oklahoma Republican attorney general was referring to what he called former President Barack Obama’s heavy-handed environmental regulations.

“Accordingly, I look forward to working with you, your state experts and local communities as we develop a path forward to improve our environment and bolster the economy,” he added.

Pruitt also noted in the letter that states “have no obligation to spend resources to comply with a rule that has been stayed by the Supreme Court.”

President Donald Trump made eliminating regulations a key part of his presidential campaign, specifically rolling back the EPA-administered CPP, which, among other things, would reduce the country’s greenhouse gasses 28 percent over 10 years. He issued an executive order Wednesday nixing the rule.

The order goes even farther than axing the CPP, according to Bloomberg. The memo directs Pruitt to review and work to repeal or revise the rule, rescinds the Department of the Interior’s moratorium on coal mining leases on federal lands.

It also repeals the previous administration’s guidance on how agents take global warming into account when crafting reviews for various energy projects, and all but eliminates the program that determines the “social cost of carbon,” or the SCC.

The Department of Justice asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday to suspend its block on the CPP until the EPA completes its review and subsequent repeal.

The Oklahoma Republican has made similar anti-federalism pitches in the past. He told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, for instance, that people are absolutely justified in wanting the president to abolish the agency.

Pruitt said that people should be angry the EPA has abused “its authority” and worked to enhance a federal bureaucracy while reducing the power of the state.

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