The energy industry has once again asked Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt to roll back environmental regulations and, like an obedient puppy, Pruitt informed the industry that he will consider doing exactly that.
Specifically, Pruitt will initiate a review of environmental regulations established in 2015 that limit the amount of heavy metals that power plants can legally dump into waterways.
The new rulemaking will target the so-called ELG rule, which applies to most power plants. The Obama administration finalized these standards in November 2015, estimating they would curb the amount of toxic metals, nutrients, and other pollutants that power plants annually release into US waters by 1.4 billion pounds.
The types of pollutants coming out of these plants have been linked to a range of health and environmental problems, from cancer in humans to deformities in fish.
The only reason Pruitt is initiating a review rather than rescinding the regulations right now is because federal law requires that federal regulations be reviewed and commented on by the public before a new set of regulations can be finalized. Even if he has already made up his mind, his hands are tied until a review is complete. These reviews can take up to a year or longer to complete, but we should expect the Trump regime will expedite the process.
The good news, if any can be found in this, is that the arguments Trump's EPA use to rescind the regulations will almost certainly be critically flawed and less likely to stand up in court.
Stupidity seems like a forgone conclusion in the Trump era, but moving quickly often means moving stupidly and the Trump regime's haste has already proven to be fatal to several of Trump's initiatives.
Deciding what you're going to do and then constructing an argument without data to support it tends to not hold up very well even in conservative court rooms when met with strong data by the opposition. In regards to regulations, Trump's team have already decided what they're going to do without even glancing at the data. They don't believe in scientific data.