Trump’s Plan for Climate: Let States Destroy It

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.

  • Scopedog

    ‘Don’t vote for people who want you dead.”

    But-but both parties are the same!
    –the idiot Left

  • muselet

    Maybe it’s a lack of imagination on my part, but I fail to see the point of this administration’s obsession with coal.

    There aren’t very many coal companies, so there aren’t very many coal-company owners, and since those coal companies that exist are—relatively speaking—modestly profitable, there’s not a huge pile of campaign contributions awaiting the pol who does the companies’ bidding.

    If it were all fossil fuels affected by these new, ridiculous non-regulations, I could see the point. But coal? I has a confused.

    Remember acid rain? It’s nasty and destructive and it’s caused (largely) by burning coal. Letting states decide on their own standards didn’t work because the sulfur and other crap from coal blew away downwind. A national approach was required, despite the howls of outrage from coal-mining states. The Trump EPA would take us back to the days of dead and dying forests and lakes.



    • ninjaf

      Two words on why they do it: Electoral College.

      • muselet

        Well, yes, but the states that mine—and burn—coal are pretty reliable red states already.

        Of course, the real reason is fck Obama, but must the administration poison the groundwater in order to raise its tiny, orange middle fingers?


  • Badgerite

    The reason, of course, that we have national environmental standards to maintain healthy standards of clean air and clean water is that the natural world does not recognize state or national boundaries. This has been a principle in law with respect to natural resources such a rivers and streams forever. Take the Mississippi river for instance. Pollution standards in one state in the north will inevitably affect every other state downstream A state by state patchwork with respect to standards of pollution allowed will simply not work. Air and water and other natural systems do not stop or change at a state border.

  • ninjaf

    I guess it’s (well past) time for Democrats to take over state house and then create treaties with other states to meet certain standards, since these ratf*ckers can’t seem to leave us anything to breathe or drink because money.

  • Ceoltoir

    Republicans only believe in States rights when they control the local debate and according the them no has the right to tell the legal fictions known as corporations what to do. Meanwhile, the actual citizens of the United States are just inconvenient trash to be disregarded.

    • Draxiar

      And they only support abortion when their mistresses become prego. The pattern is of hypocrisy is easy to follow though many GOPers seem to be unable to do so….hrm…