The Latest on the Trump administration’s plan to slash regulations
The Trump administration is proposing a range of regulatory changes on Friday that would gut the Clean Power Plan, a set of Obama-era environmental rules that require utilities to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The proposed rollback would come after years of pressure from President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans who have accused Obama administration officials of ignoring climate change and putting the interests of coal- and oil-producing utilities ahead of the health of the planet.
The president and his top aides have repeatedly said that the EPA should be able to regulate carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
But the administration says the Clean Air Act, which regulates air pollution, has to be amended to address climate change.
The plan is part of a broader plan to dismantle or weaken other key elements of Obama administration policies, including regulations on climate change, the Clean Water Act, and financial regulations for the financial industry.
The EPA is expected to release a summary of its proposed rollbacks on Friday, which would be the first official release from the Trump team on the plan.
The White House said the plan would “reduce burdensome burdensome regulations” on companies, and would cut “major environmental costs” by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants and expanding solar, wind, and other renewable sources of power.
The administration said it would also eliminate the “cost-benefit analysis” that is the basis for the cost-benefit analyses used by the EPA and other federal agencies.
“This plan will reduce burdensome costs and burdensome regulatory burdens, while supporting the energy economy and jobs of millions of Americans,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in a statement.
“We will be the best at reducing environmental harm and climate change while protecting Americans’ jobs and our economy from economic, environmental, and health risks.”
Pruitt also said that EPA will “ensure a stable market for carbon pollution-free energy” by rolling back regulations that “determine how much carbon pollution is in a particular facility or site, how much energy is produced in a given year, and the cost of emissions from that production.”
The plan, which is the first major legislative effort from the administration, comes as the administration is facing renewed pressure from Republican lawmakers over the proposed roll back of the Clean Climate Agreement, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector.
Under the deal, the U.S. is required to cut greenhouse gas pollution from its power sector by 27 percent by 2030, with the goal of cutting emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international accord reached in Paris in 2015, is widely seen as the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels.
The deal requires countries to reduce their emissions by 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The Trump-Pruitt administration is seeking to undo the Paris Agreement by rolling out a range and other actions to limit emissions from power plants, including by using the Clean Energy Savings and Investment Act of 2020 to allow states to use renewable energy as a way to generate more electricity.
Pruitt’s plan is expected not to affect the Paris agreement’s implementation or impact carbon emissions reductions.
Pruitt has said the Clean Coal rule, which restricts coal-burning power plants to less than 20 percent of their annual emissions, was “unworkable” and “a threat to the stability of our energy markets.”
He also said he would not accept the Paris accord’s requirements for carbon emissions cuts.