EPA head approves proposal reversing Obama-era Clean Power Plan

EPA head approves proposal reversing Obama-era Clean Power Plan
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Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed off on a proposal Monday to reverse a landmark Obama-era measure that placed restrictions on the coal industry in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The news outlet reviewed a copy of the long-expected proposal, which would do away with restrictions on coal plants and leave regulation of the industry up to the states. The Trump administration's plan would also curb mandates requiring coal plants to overhaul technology, and would allow the plants to produce energy with less fuel. 

“The entire Obama administration plan was centered around doing away with coal,” Wheeler told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

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President Trump is expected to formally announce the measure on Tuesday during a stop in West Virginia. The president has often railed against the “war on coal," and has pledged to revitalize the industry, reversing course from the Obama administration's efforts to pivot toward renewable energy sources.

Critics have raised concerns that the Trump administration's rules will significantly weaken efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The measure, which is likely to spark a protracted court battle, is the latest instance of the Trump administration seeking to roll back Obama-era regulations. 

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), combined with the Paris climate accord, was meant to make the U.S. a global leader in the fight against carbon emissions.

Trump announced in June 2017 that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.

However, the changes to the CPP are unlikely to go into effect without a fight in court from environmentalists.

The Obama-era rule remains suspended after the Supreme Court in 2016 put a temporary hold on its implementation following a lawsuit from coal states.