Power plant rule repeal announcement likely this fall: EPA

Power plant rule repeal announcement likely this fall: EPA

Federal officials expect to finalize their review of the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plans this fall, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday in a court filing.

President Trump in March ordered the EPA to review and consider repealing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which sets carbon reduction targets for states to apply to their energy sectors. The EPA is widely expected to formally order the rule off the books at the end of its review.

The agency has submitted its Clean Power Plan proposal to the Office of Management and Budget’s regulations office for review. Once it returns to the EPA, the agency said in its court filing, "the administrator will sign the proposed rule and EPA will send it to the Office of the Federal Register” for a public comment period.

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“At this time, EPA expects that the administrator will sign the proposed rule in the fall of 2017,” the filing said.

The Clean Power Plan was the cornerstone environmental regulation of the Obama administration. The rule, which the Supreme Court stayed in early 2016, would require the U.S. electricity sector to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 32 percent, from 2005 levels, by 2030.

Supporters consider the rule an important step toward tackling climate change-causing carbon emissions. But opponents, including conservatives and the fossil fuel industry, say it is restricting and could hurt businesses’ bottom lines.

EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittMy freedom is on the line to fight climate change, more will follow Sessions: DOJ prohibited from issuing guidance that creates new rules Overnight Regulation: Senators unveil bipartisan gun background check bill | FCC rolls back media regs | Family leave credit added to tax bill | Senate confirms banking watchdog MORE sued against the rule while he was attorney general of Oklahoma and says he considers it to be an illegal regulation. Trump has made repealing the rule a priority. 

“I am taking an historic step to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations,” Trump said when he signed his executive order in March.