The EPA plans to eliminate the Obama administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan and solicit advice on the ways to replace the regulation, according to a report Wednesday from Reuters.
The agency’s decision is the first step in the official plan to eliminate a rule intended to slash carbon emissions from coal power plants, Reuters’ report notes. President Donald Trump signed an order earlier this year to review the regulation that many conservatives argue targeted the coal industry.
Trump has spent the first several months of this administration rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations, including his predecessor’s signing of the Paris agreement on climate change, which obligated the U.S. slash emissions nearly 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
More than 27 state attorneys general challenged former President Barack Obama’s signing of the CPP. Trump’s EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, joined the campaign against the rule when he was Oklahoma’s attorney general during the Obama years.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals suspended Obama’s rule earlier this year and set a deadline of Oct. 6 for a status report from the EPA on how best to proceed.
Reuters’ report is based on a document informing the agency’s Regulatory Steering Committee that the EPA “is issuing a proposal to repeal the rule.”
EPA’s move comes after Pruitt announced Tuesday that the agency will partner with regulated sectors of the economy to find solutions for environmental problems. Pruitt’s so-called “Smart Sectors
program will re-examine how the agency engages with industries.
A sector-based approach can help increase long-term certainty within the economy, as well as find creative solutions for problems based on sound data, Pruitt said in a press statement at the time of the announcement.
Agency veterans who served during the Obama administration, meanwhile, argue the EPA’s process to replace the CPP rule with a comparable one could take several years.
“It certainly will draw the process out,” Janet McCabe, who headed the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation under Obama, told reporters, adding that the replacement could be a long way off.
The EPA has not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for response about what elements will be considered during the replacement process.
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