WASHINGTON – The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed replacing the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s regulatory efforts to combat climate change.
The proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency is now open for a public comment period. A final EPA rule is expected later this year.
The effort to re-write the plan is the latest move by the EPA under President Donald Trump, a Republican, to roll back environmental protections put in place by Obama, Trump’s Democratic predecessor.
EPA’s proposal would grant states the ability to write their own weaker regulations for the plants and give them the ability to seek permission to opt out of regulations on power plant emissions.
Trump, who is scheduled to hold a rally on Tuesday in West Virginia, a top coal-producing state, has vowed to end what he has called “the war on coal” and boost domestic fossil fuels production.
The power plan, which was finalized by the EPA under Obama in 2015, sought to reduce emissions from power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 but never took effect. The Supreme Court put the brakes on it in 2016 after energy-producing states sued the EPA, saying it had exceeded its legal reach.