Trump administration to terminate major Obama climate change plan
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has confirmed plans to repeal a rule introduced by the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pruit, a climate change skeptic, said the Clean Power Plan was an overreach. In March, US President Donald Trump ordered the EPA to rewrite the rule. The plan requires states to achieve carbon emission reduction targets based on their energy consumption.
Under President Barack Obama, the EPA had said the Clean Power Plan would help prevent an estimated 150,000 asthma attacks among children and 6,600 premature deaths. The rule requires states to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. However, a leaked draft proposal disputes these health benefits and claims America would save $33 billion by repealing the regulation.
Pruitt said he would sign the paperwork to start withdrawing the Clean Power Plan on Tuesday. "The war on coal is over," he said, adding that, "That rule really was about picking winners and losers." Pruitt previously argued that the rule would force states to start moving towards renewable energy to generate electricity.
Repealing of the Clean Power Rule would make it tougher for the US to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Climate accord. In August, Trump notified the UN that the US intends to withdraw from the landmark accord. However, signatory countries cannot officially announce an intention to withdraw until 4 November 2019. Meanwhile, environmental groups have slammed the Clean Power Plan's repeal.