Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Administration, repealed President Obama’s Clean Power Plan on Tuesday.
The Clean Power Plan required states to cut down on carbon emissions by using clean energy instead of coal. The coal industry has suffered lost jobs as a result of an accelerated shift to the use of natural gas, wind and solar. However, according to the New York Times, “even in the absence of the rule, many utilities across the country have opted to shift...driven by cost concerns and state-level policies.” Clean energy is more cost effective, according to NPR.
States like California and New York are moving forward with their plans to reduce carbon emissions, regardless of federal agenda. Kim Spillane, a freshman environmental sciences major, said, “We should be concerned about the rising Co2 levels because it has a direct negative impact on our atmosphere by polluting the air and contributing to global warming.”
On the campaign trail, President Trump promised to bring back coal jobs, and is seeking to fulfill this vow by removing Obama-era measure, according to NPR. Chris Hamilton of the Coal Administration told NPR he is doubtful that the coal industry can recover, “[the] industry will likely never get back all the jobs it's lost.”
Mr. Pruitt said that the Obama Administration was overstepping its authority by instating the Clean Power Plan, and the Supreme Court blocked the regulations from going into effect last year as it determined whether the federal government was exceeding its legal authority. The Obama Administration argued that the health benefits of the Clean Power Plan would outweigh the costs of the implementation of the plan. According to NPR, “Scott Pruitt says dumping the Clean Power Plan will save industry $33 billion in compliance costs. But environmental groups are questioning the administration's cost-benefit calculations.”
The rollback of the policy is the first step in a month long process to finalizing the rollback of the measure, the next step is a, “formal public-comment period,” according to the New York Times.
“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says dumping the Clean Power Plan will save industry $33 billion in compliance costs. But environmental groups are questioning the administration's cost-benefit calculations"