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News Worms

United States to end Obama climate plan: Trump environment chief

United States to end Obama climate plan: Trump environment chief

In announcing the repeal, Pruitt made numerous same arguments that he had made for years to Congress and in lawsuits: that the Obama administration exceeded its legal authority in an effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The plan, which embraces renewables, solar and wind power, but not so much natural gas, calls for states to reduce emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Pruitt appeared at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at Whayne Supply in Hazard, Kentucky, a company that sells coal mining supplies.

"Tomorrow, in Washington D.C., I'll be a signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration, and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule", Pruitt said in Kentucky.

Pruitt said the Obama-era plan was "really about picking winners and losers" in the competition to generate electricity in the US.

Pruitt said the EPA should not use its authority "to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy".

The Clean Power Plan was key to Washington's implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change, from which Trump withdrew in June.

It was not immediately clear if Pruitt would seek to issue a new rule without congressional approval, which Republicans had criticized the Obama administration for doing.

Such changes - such as adding automation or replacing worn turbine seals - would yield at most a 6% gain in efficiency, along with a corresponding fall in greenhouse gas emissions, according to earlier modeling by the Environmental Protection Agency and other analysts.

Under President Barack Obama, the EPA estimated the Clean Power Plan could prevent 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children. He and others who took legal action contend the agency doesn't have authority under the federal Clean Air Act to enact such sweeping changes to how power plants are run.

Pruitt, as Oklahoma's attorney general, made a career fighting EPA safeguards and was part of a coalition of state attorneys general that tried to block implementation of the CPP.

Prior to the finalization of the rules in August 2015, power plants - which account for almost 40 percent of carbon emissions - "were allowed to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere", said the Union of Concerned Scientists. A plant-specific approach "would be grossly insufficient to address the public health and environmental impacts from Carbon dioxide emissions", Obama's EPA said.


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