War on coal is over - Smart Energy Decisions

October 9, 2017

'The war on coal is over,' Pruitt says in beginning repeal of EPA's Clean Power Plan

At a speaking event in Kentucky, U.S. EPA director Scott Pruitt on Oct. 9 announced the Trump administration would begin formal proceedings to repeal the Clean Power Plan on Oct. 10. 

"The war on coal is over," Pruitt said, according to a report from The New York Times. "Tomorrow in Washington, D.C., I will be signing a proposed rule to roll back the Clean Power Plan. No better place to make that announcement than Hazard, Kentucky."

The news was not unexpected and followed the distribution late last week of a leaked repeal document obtained by Politico. In it, the EPA argues that the Obama-era regulation, considered to be the keystone of the former president's climate agenda, was illegal in its proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. 

 The Clean Power Plan was put on hold by the Supreme Court in early 2016 amid legal challenges the began almost immediately after it was issued in August of 2015. The Trump administration's repeal document follows the longstanding argument made by challengers of the rule — which included Pruitt as former attorney general of Oklahoma — that the EPA went outside its legal authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Water Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; that argument is centered around what is referred to as the "fenceline provision" of the Clean Air Act. 

Challengers have said that provision "only allows EPA to mandate emissions reductions with technologies that can be applied 'inside the fenceline' of individual power plants," according to Utility Dive, which reported Oct. 6: 

The EPA's draft CPP repeal, put online Friday by Politico, picks up on those arguments, saying that the CPP's provisions "raised substantial concerns that the CPP would necessitate changes to a state's energy policy, such as a grid-wide shift from coal-fired to natural gas-fired generation, and from fossil fuel-fired generation to renewable generation." 

The repeal proposal is expected to be filed in the Federal Register on Oct. 10. 


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