A plan to replace the Clean Power Plan will soon be introduced, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
On December 7th, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt informed members of the House of Representatives that a plan to repeal the controversial CPP from the Obama administration will be introduced soon.
This is noteworthy because the only communications from the EPA prior to December 7th said that the agency was determining whether or not further action on the CPP was warranted. Pruitt’s statements to House lawmakers indicates progression in the agency’s overall goal of dealing with the CPP sooner or later.
The EPA, under Pruitt, has argued that the CPP exceeds the statutory authority of the agency. Repeal of the CPP has been a stated goal of not just Pruitt – dating back to his time as Oklahoma’s Attorney General – but of the Republican Party that placed Pruitt in his position. Critics have debated whether or not the CPP violates the agency’s authority, but the consensus is that a Pruitt-led EPA will eventually repeal as much of the CPP as possible.
This latest communication makes that prospect even more likely.
The EPA is currently accepting comments from the public on the CPP until January 16th. The agency recently held a public hearing at the end of November, and it’s unclear if any more public hearings will be held before a decision is reached.
There’s also the prospect that the EPA’s decision will face legal challenges from proponents of the CPP and various advocacy groups that point to the plan’s role in reducing greenhouse gases, supporting alternative energy resources, and helping low-income households through lower energy-bill costs.
Still, it is likely that the CPP will look entirely different by this time next year than it does currently, if trends continue – assuming the CPP will remain in place in any capacity. There is an increasingly strong likelihood that the agency will propose a total replacement that will lessen regulations and provide a boon to coal producers that have had to adjust to the CPP as it has been enacted over the past few years.