Scrap the Clean Power Plan

Current Status: In Progress

As of

"We will also scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan which the government estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year."

The Clean Power Plan has been around long enough to fall under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) making it difficult for the Senate to remove outright.  The simplest way for the GOP to destroy the CPP would be to take away the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases at all. If Senate Democrats can filibuster this measure then the Trump administration would have to resort to other executive branch strategies to weaken the rule. It could refuse to defend it in court. It could deny EPA the funds necessary to enforce it. It could start another round of rulemaking to substantially weaken it. Those moves would inevitably prompt lawsuits, but those lawsuits would drag on for years and years.

In December 2016, Trump nominated Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, to be head of the EPA.  Pruitt, who was confirmed by the Senate in February 2017, is a known fossil fuel industry ally and is one of a number of state Attorney Generals to participate in the lawsuit against he Clean Power Plan. 

On March 28th, 2017, Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review the CPP, presumably as a prelude to making alterations or eliminating portions of the plan. If the administration chooses to replace the CPP with a less stringent rule, it could result in a narrower regulatory package that would require only small efficiency improvements to existing coal plants. Scott Pruitt wrote such an alternative plan in 2014.

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