Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been drafting a plan to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan ever since he took office and, according to an exclusive report from Politico, the new plan calls for letting states do whatever they want.
But before we get to that I want to reiterate something: President Obama's Clean Power Plan was never a law. It has never been enforced or even hit the books.
You may recall that a group of Republic-led states sued to block the Clean Power Plan before it was even finalized and published by the EPA. That lawsuit was thrown out of a court for a lack of standing, but a subsequent lawsuit was partially successful. The Clean Power Plan has been on hold ever since Trump's EPA declared in court that they would be rewriting it.
Now, for the details from Politico:
The new climate proposal for coal-burning power plants, expected to be released in the coming days, would give states wide latitude to write their own modest regulations for coal plants or even seek permission to opt out, according to the document and a source who has read other sections of the draft. [...]
The proposal would be “another, more official, sign that the government of the United States is not committed to climate policy,” said Janet McCabe, EPA’s air chief under Obama. [...]
EPA intends to argue that the Obama administration rule illegally sought to regulate the broader power sector, beyond coal plants, and that the compliance costs would have been big and the climate benefits negligible, according to the draft POLITICO reviewed.
There's an inescapable irony here.
The Trump regime is set to argue in court that California's emissions and fuel-efficiency standards for cars are illegal while also drafting this plan that calls for letting states write their own regulations.
All things considered, we already have reason to believe this is not a sincere plan that would actually allow Democratically-controlled states to write their own regulations or at least not the regulations they desire. Allowing states to write their own "modest regulations" suggests that the Trump regime doesn't intend to allow any state to impose stricter regulations than other states.
If we foolishly accept this proposal at face value, however, it could be a blessing or literally a death sentence depending on which state you live in.
We were already headed in this direction anyway, but it's not hard to envision a near future in which blue states have clear air and water while red states become uninhabitable hellholes with no environmental regulations and probably no health care. That is what Republicans want, isn't it? They want to be Great Again. Or Dead Again.
Don't vote for people who want you dead.