Newly-confirmed EPA administrator Scott Pruitt clearly stated on Friday that he intends to roll back the Obama administration's clean power plan that regulated emissions from old, dirty power plants
Pruitt filed many lawsuits against the EPA under Obama on behalf of the fossil fuel industry while he was the attorney general of Oklahoma, so we know what his true motives are, but his stated motive should be hilarious to anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention.
Pruitt told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that he expects to quickly withdraw both the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States Rule, the Obama administration’s attempt at clarifying the EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.
“There’s a very simple reason why this needs to happen: Because the courts have seriously called into question the legality of those rules,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt was among the group of state attorneys general who sued the Obama administration in an effort to block the Clean Power Plan, but they more or less defeated themselves.
You may recall that the court ruled against Pruitt and the others because they filed a lawsuit to stop a regulatory regime that wasn't even drafted or implemented yet. A new lawsuit filed after the regulations were actually finalized is currently lingering in court.
To heighten the absurdity of their dubious legal challenges and Pruitt's recent statements, the energy industry in many states including those who participated in lawsuits against the Obama administration have already moved forward toward a cleaner future because it's in their own best economic interest to do so.
Killing the Clean Power Plan won't resurrect the coal industry or create jobs, it will simply extend the already-ancient lifespan of existing coal-fired plants that will no longer have to comply with new federal regulations. It will further endanger the lives and well-being of people who live near dirty power plants while providing no economic benefit to them.
This will benefit the bottom line of fossil fuel companies, no one else. If they're not required to renovate dirty plants, the savings will not be passed on to employees, customers, or state coffers; it will pad the company's books.