Energy & Environment

Trump’s proposed climate rule reconsideration nears public release


President Trump’s White House is reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed reconsideration of former President Barack Obama’s climate change rule for power plants.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said early Friday that it received the proposed “review” of the rule Thursday from the EPA.

The OMB review is the final step before the EPA can release the proposal publicly and start the required process of accepting public comments.

{mosads}The Trump administration has not formally said exactly what it is proposing to change, though it is expected to seek a full repeal of the rule known as the Clean Power Plan.

Trump promised on the campaign trail to repeal the rule and EPA head Scott Pruitt opposes it, but the rulemaking process keeps all of the details hidden until release.

Pruitt said last month that it is “yet to be determined” whether the EPA will seek to replace the Clean Power Plan with another climate regulation.

Trump has called global warming a “hoax,” while Pruitt maintains that it is not clear how much human activity contributes to climate change.

Published in 2015, the Clean Power Plan was the main pillar of Obama’s aggressive second-term climate agenda. It sought a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 through individual emissions goals assigned to each state based on its power mix and ability to reduce pollution.

It is opposed by nearly all Republicans, conservative states, fossil fuel-related industries and big businesses. Those groups — led in part by Pruitt when attorney general of Oklahoma — sued to stop the rule and won a rare, temporary Supreme Court stay of it in 2016.

The OMB usually get 60 days to review regulatory proposals to ensure that they align with the law and the administration’s priorities, but the process has often taken longer.

During the OMB’s review, nearly any outside group or company affected by the rule can meet with administration staffers to try to sway them, and some details of the meetings are publicized.

After the EPA publishes the proposal and gathers public comments, it can then publish a final version of the regulation and let it take effect.

Tags Barack Obama Clean Power Plan Climate change Environmental Protection Agency
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