Environment

Trump Orders Review of the Clean Power Plan

Photo TIME Magazine
JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As expected, Trump has signed an executive order directing Environmental Protection Agency director and basic science denier Scott Pruitt to review President Obama's clean power plan.

The order initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation, which was the former president's signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.

But just as Obama's climate efforts were often stymied by legal challenges, environmental groups are promising to fight Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda in court.

Trump and the EPA cannot just unilaterally sunset the regulations on a whim. A lengthy review process is required, but the review will undoubtedly support repealing the regulations. That is why Trump selected Scott Pruitt to head the agency, isn't it? This is just a formality.

Democratically-controlled states will probably file legal challengers and even pass their own regulations in response to Trump's actions, but we probably shouldn't expect to see anything but jubilation from Republican-controlled states even if they know this isn't going to create jobs.

And speaking of jobs, I have enough to say about that and one coal executive in particular that it will require its own post tomorrow morning.