The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committing to pursue a replacement climate change rule for power plants after repealing the Obama administration’s regulation on the matter, agency head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEPA bans use of pesticide linked to developmental problems in children Science matters: Thankfully, EPA leadership once again agrees Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE told a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel on Thursday.
“We are going to be introducing a replacement rule too, in place of the Clean Power Plan,” Pruitt told Rep. Raul RuizRaul RuizHispanic caucus calls for Fort Hood to be renamed in honor of Mexican American general Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Harris hears criticism from all sides amid difficult first trip MORE (D-Calif.) in response to questioning about the EPA’s plans to repeal the Obama rule.
Pruitt has previously only committed to consider such a replacement rule. When the EPA proposed the repeal in October, it said it would soon seek formal comment on replacing the Clean Power Plan.
Numerous business groups opposed to the Obama rule have been pushing Pruitt to write a replacement. They’ve argued that a replacement would shield companies and the federal government from future litigation on climate and fulfill the EPA’s obligation to regulate power plants’ carbon dioxide.
But the Trump administration’s climate rule is likely to be far weaker than Obama’s, which sought a 32 percent reduction in the power sector’s carbon emissions.
Pruitt has taken the position that many of the provisions of Obama’s rule were illegal under the Clean Air Act, notably that it required emissions reductions based on a power utility’s ability to shift generationally away from coal plants and toward lower-emitting sources.
The Trump administration’s rule is also likely to let states decide their levels of emissions cuts, without the EPA dictating levels.