President Trump continues to hack away at the series of unconstitutional actions undertaken by former President Obama without the support of Congress.
“Tomorrow, in Washington DC, I’ll be a signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration,” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told a cheering crowd, marking the end of former President Obama’s centerpiece in the fight against global warming, as tweeted by Fox News.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 9, 2017
Pruitt made the announcement to raucous applause while attending a mining event yesterday. In March, President Trump signed an executive order mandating the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
Last February, in an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court ordered a stay against the CPP, preventing the regulation from going into full effect. This was the first time the Supreme Court stayed a regulation while waiting for a lower court to render a decision, according to The Daily Caller.
As reported by National Review, Pruitt had two very good reasons for rescinding the Clean Power Plan. First, the plan picked winners and losers in the marketplace with the intention to kill coal. Second, the EPA never had the authority to enforce the CPP.
While running for office in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama made his intentions clear. “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” he said, laying out his plan to kill coal.
The Clean Power Plan combined strict limits on carbon dioxide emission that price out coal-based energy with alternative energy incentives that acted as a one-two punch against the coal industry. The carbon dioxide emission standards were set so low that it would be impossible to meet the requirements and stay profitable.
According to Scott Pruitt, the EPA should be pursuing their environmental goals without picking political favorites in the marketplace. This would allow companies to adapt to new standards, with the most efficient and profitable sources for energy reigning supreme.
Second, and more importantly, the EPA never had the authority to enforce the CPP. The legality of the CPP was being decided by a lower court when Pruitt announced the program would be scrapped.
Former-President Obama argued that the Clean Power Plan fell under the EPA’s authority based on the Clean Air Act passed in 1963. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is only mandated to regulate air “pollution.” To get around this restriction, the EPA argued that carbon dioxide is a pollutant – a contentious claim at best.
The EPA had a broad reach under Obama. Do you support President Trump reigning them in?
Further, the CPP was pushed through without the support of Congress. Whether or not carbon emissions should be limited is a decision that needs to be made by the representatives of the American people — it cannot be enacted unilaterally by non-elected bureaucrats.
If the majority of Americans truly support limiting carbon emissions, then Congress would have passed a law limiting carbon emissions. Congress has repeatedly denied legislating on the issue, which suggests that the CPP is not a high priority for American voters.