Trump administration to roll back Obama clean power rule

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Scott Pruitt will sign a proposal tomorrow that would eliminate the Obama administration's signature climate change rule, the U.S. EPA administrator said today during a speech in Hazard, Ky.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was also present at the event and said that withdrawal from the Clean Power Plan would relax burdens that environmental regulations impose on the economy.

As Oklahoma's attorney general, he took part in a lawsuit by 27 USA states against the rule. The rule was a key component of the nation's broader emissions-reduction pledge under the Paris climate accord, which President Trump exited this summer.

The proposal, which was obtained by The Washington Post and other news outlets last week, argues that the agency overstepped its legal authority in seeking to force utilities to reduce carbon emissions outside their actual facilities to meet federal emissions targets.

Green groups criticized Monday's announcement and praised the plan, a collection of emissions standards for USA states that the Obama administration imposed to reduce pollution from power plants - the largest emitters of greenhouse gases - by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Eliminating the rule would make it hard for the USA to fulfil its promise to cut emissions as part of the Paris Climate accord, a 2015 worldwide agreement which President Obama signed with almost 200 other countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming. The past administration was unapologetic.

"Under the interpretation proposed in this notice, the CPP (Clean Power Plan) exceeds the EPA's statutory authority and would be repealed", wrote a copy of the the leaked proposal obtained by the United States media. Supporters of the Clean Power Plan will be looking for ways to challenge the Trump administration's moves in court. And they are still pushing the Trump administration to be creative now.

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The Supreme Court put the plan on hold a year ago following a legal challenge by industry and coal-friendly states.

"Any replacement rule that the Trump administration proposes will be done carefully and properly within the confines of the law", EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said.

The EPA will propose repealing the Clean Power Plan and plans to solicit input on a rule to replace it, Reuters reports, citing an internal EPA document.

The planned repeal of the Clean Power Plan has sparked outrage among environmental groups. Back in March, Trump signed an executive order ordering the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan.

"The EPA proposes to determine that the CPP is not within Congress's grant of authority to the agency under the governing statute".

Liz Perera, climate policy director for the Sierra Club, said repealing the Clean Power Plan "is about one thing and one thing only: helping corporate polluters profit".

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