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Trump nullifies the Clean Power Plan

March 29, 2017


In an effort to revive the coal mining industry in the United States, as he promised coal miners during his 2016 campaign, President Trump signed an executive order on DAY, March 28 that will dismantle late-President Obama’s efforts to counter man-made climate change. The move to put coal miners to work and please company executives nullifies mainly Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

The plan aimed to lower the rates of carbon-dioxide emissions of power plants in the U.S. It promoted using low-carbon energy sources, lowering demand and increasing the efficiency of power plants. As the Trump administration rewrites and repeals the rule, EPA regulations, which mandated that federal agencies consider climate change when issuing permits for major infrastructure projects such as pipelines, will become nonexistent.

Although it repeals the Clean Power Plan, the executive order does not affect the Clean Air Act. This federal law regulates air emission and authorizes the EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Therefore, the agency would still control how much gas gets discharged into the atmosphere. In addition, the EPA signed the Endangerment Finding in 2009 that points out that multiple greenhouse gases affect the public health and welfare of current and future generations. If Trump wanted to repeal that part of the Obama climate change effort, he would have to bring up scientific evidence that those gases are not harmful to humans or the environment, which is unlikely.

Even if he can put an end to the Clean Power Plan, Trump will have to fight lawsuits, laws and other obstacles that protect the environment. That being said, the repeal could revive the coal industry and get the miners who count on him off unemployment status.

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