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Oct 10, 2017 03:39 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

'War on coal is over': Trump regime set to do away with Obama's clean energy plan

Clean Power Plan is a set of federal guidelines to states for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity plants fired by fossil fuel, especially coal.

'War on coal is over': Trump regime set to do away with Obama's clean energy plan

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said he will sign a new rule superseding the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan policy that was used to cap carbon emissions from coal power plants, the Associated Press reported.

During President Barrack Obama’s tenure, the EPA had proposed the said policy as a measure against climate change caused by human activity. Clean Power Plan is a set of federal guidelines to states for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity plants fired by fossil fuel, especially coal.

“The war on coal is over,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was quoted as saying in Kentucky — a major coal-mining state. He added that federal agencies should never exercise authority to “declare war on any sector of our economy.”

In March this year, President Donald Trump had signed an executive order to overhaul the climate policies of the Obama era. Trump’s order let EPA review the Clean Power Plan among other things, paving the way for Pruitt to frame the new rules.

According to the AP report, it was not clear during Pruitt’s declaration if he would try to introduce a new rule without approval from Congress.

Pruitt’s rule, in that case, would not be finalised for months, and face legal challenges from left-leaning states and environmental groups who are deciding to fight the move to kill the Plan, the report said.

The Supreme Court put the Clean Power Plan on hold last year after the policy faced legal challenges from the industry and coal-friendly states.

Speaking at an event in Kentucky, Pruitt said his agency would issue the new proposed rule on Tuesday.

The draft of the proposal, as per a report in the Washington Post, does not propose a supplanting plan to curb emissions, which the agency ought to do as per a Supreme Court ruling.

For the present EPA administrator, the scrapping of the Obama-era policy bears import as he has fought for long against climate policies after he was elected attorney general of Oklahoma.

Pruitt is also in the league of several attorney generals who sued to halt President Obama’s endeavours to limit carbon emissions and hinder policies from coming into effect.

The EPA has changed under the Trump Administration with a series of such actions being taken while the President decided to pull out of the international Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

Recently, in a controversial move, Donald Trump nominated coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as deputy administrator of the EPA.
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