EPA Moves To Repeal Obama Climate Regulation ‘In Its Entirety’

  • Date: 08/10/17
  • The Hill

The Trump administration will soon propose repealing the Obama administration’s climate change rule for power plants but won’t commit to replacing it with another regulation.

A draft of the proposal obtained by The Hill on Friday asserts that under former President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Clean Power Plan that “is not within Congress’s grant of authority to the agency under the governing statute.”

“The EPA is proposing to repeal the CPP in its entirety,” the agency writes in the notice that would be published in the Federal Register.

“The EPA proposes to take this action because it proposes to determine that the rule exceeds its authority under the statute, that those portions of the rule which arguably do not exceed its authority are not severable and separately implementable, and that it is not appropriate for a rule that exceeds statutory authority — especially a rule of this magnitude and with this level of impact on areas of traditional state regulatory authority — to remain in existence pending a potential, successive rulemaking process.”

The administration is expected to roll out the proposed repeal as early as Friday, which would open what is certain to be a fierce regulatory battle over the limits of the EPA’s authority and its responsibility to fight climate change.

The regulation was the pillar of Obama’s aggressive second-term climate agenda, in which he sought to take unilateral actions to fight climate change after Congress refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation.

It then become central to Republicans’ and the business community’s arguments that the Obama administration went too far with regulations. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who was Oklahoma’s Republican attorney general during the Obama administration, was a leading figure in the federal court fight to get the rule overturned.

The Trump administration’s argument against the Clean Power Plan is largely similar to one the rule’s opponents used when filing lawsuits against it.

States that sued against the Clean Power Plan in 2015 — a group that included Pruitt — argued that the regulation was overly broad and went outside the agency’s authority.

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