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EPA Admin Pruitt Says White House Will Withdraw From Clean Power Plan

EPA Admin Pruitt Says White House Will Withdraw From Clean Power Plan

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday he would sign a proposed rule on Tuesday to begin withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama's centerpiece regulation to fight climate change.

The Obama administration issued the plan in October, 2015, requiring coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

"The war on coal is over", EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said at an event in Kentucky on Monday.

In February, he nixed a rule that stopped mining companies from dumping waste into streams, and in March, Pruitt said he would stop collecting methane emissions from 15,000 oil and gas operations.

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Pruitt's attempt is the latest in the Trump Administration's risky campaign of climate change denial, and is a wake-up call for state and local leaders: if you want to protect your citizens, it's time to take action yourselves because the Trump-Pruitt EPA has shown it's more interested in protecting polluters than the health of Americans.

The Supreme Court put the plan on hold past year. They add, however, that they would prefer replacing the Clean Power Plan with a new, more modest regulation on power plants in order to blunt any court challenges.

"The Trump Administration's persistent and indefensible denial of climate change - and their continued assault on actions essential to stemming its increasing devastation - is reprehensible, and I will use every available legal tool to fight their risky agenda", said Schneiderman, a Democrat.

Under Obama, the EPA envisioned utilities would make some straightforward efficiency improvements at coal-fired power plants as the first step to comply with the Clean Power Plan.

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The proposal suggests that if there's a replacement rule, it would focus more narrowly on efficiency limits at specific power plants, rather than the broader approach taken by the Clean Power Plan.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt outlined such an "inside-the-fence-line" approach in 2014, when he served as Oklahoma's attorney general.

Colorado has already set its own ambitious goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions outside of the Clean Power Plan.

"A decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan is a choice that puts American lives at greater risk from unhealthy air and the health harms from climate change", the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, representing 400,000 clinical practitioners, said in a statement following Pruitt's announcement.

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The president announced earlier this year that he will pull the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement.