Scott Pruitt Gets Ready to Pull the Plug on Obama's Job-Killing Clean Power Plan

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt begins the process of sh**-canning the Obama administration’s Clean Power Program. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

 

Back in October 2015, Barack Obama’s EPA finalized a 460-page rule titled “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” aka the Clean Power Plan. This was a part of Obama’s “pen and phone” way of ruling the country. (As an aside, did you ever see anyone on the left bitch about Obama using the power of the presidency to make policy and weigh in on political and cultural issues the way some on the right bitch about Trump doing it? Did you ever stop to wonder what they know that the current belly-achers don’t?)

I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone, and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive action.Where I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so. I’ve got a pen to take executive actions where Congress won’t, and I’ve got a telephone to rally folks around the country on this mission.

The purpose of this rule was breathtaking. Using the anthropogenic global warming scaremongering and specious public health predictions, the Clean Power Plan essentially put the US coal industry out of business.

Since that time the rule has been mired in court challenges and it produced the first instance in history where the Supreme Court presumed a rule was unreasonable before a lower court ruled on the issue:

“The Supreme Court dealt a blow to President Obama’s signature climate change initiative Tuesday by halting the administration’s effort to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants while a legal battle rages on.

The move by the court’s five conservative members was a shock to environmentalists, who had hoped the justices would deny — as a federal appeals court did last month — a petition filed by 29 mostly Republican-led states and industry leaders.

Now the Environmental Protection Agency must halt enforcement of the so-called “Clean Power Plan” until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decides on the merits of the GOP-industry lawsuit against it. Oral arguments are set for early June.

Even if the plan is upheld at the lower court, it could not be implemented until the Supreme Court has had the final word. That likely would push the battle into 2017 or beyond.

In September 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump gave an economic policy speech in which he specifically targeted the Clean Power Plan:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he would repeal four key Environmental Protection Agency regulations as president, leading one environmental group to call his plans a “dumpster fire.”

During an economic policy speech in New York, Trump said he would eliminate the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule. In a fact sheet released accompanying the speech, Trump’s campaign said he would scale back the latest regulations on ozone pollution and eliminate the EPA’s Renewable Identification Number program, which is part of the Renewable Fuel Standard program.

Trump said the regulations harm U.S. businesses and getting rid of them would help kick-start the economy.

“This Obama-Clinton directive will shut down most, if not all, coal-powered electricity plans in America,” Trump said of the Clean Power Plan. ” They’re shutting down all over the country. Remember what Hillary Clinton said? She wants to shut down the miners, just like she wants to shut down the steel mills and steel workers.”

In late March, President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan:

Now it is reported that tomorrow the EPA will being the process of withdrawing the Clean Power Plan.

What the EPA is doing is proposing a rule to rescind the existing rule and then it will undertake another administrative rule making process to ask for public input on what a new rule should contain, and finally a new rule will be drafted. I’m sure Scott Pruitt would prefer to scrap this whole thing, unfortunately, the US Supreme Court 2007 decision, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, says that EPA regulation of carbon dioxide is actually required by the Clean Air Act and so non-regulation is legally off the table unless Congress acts (that was a joke).

The sum total of this is to take this issue out of the courts and then give the environmental nazis a new chew toy to play with for several years. In the meantime, hopefully Congress will act (again that was a joke) to limit the reach of the Clean Air Act and the ability of activists to use that law to wreak havoc on our economy and communities.