On Tuesday, October 10th, the Trump Administration proposed rolling back the Clean Power Plan, which attempts to reduce the carbon pollution emitted from power plants while maintaining reliability and affordability. After being ordered to repeal this plan, Scott Pruitt, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was only happy to oblige, boasting that “the war on coal is over.” This follows the current administration’s attempts, such as the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in June, to step back from fighting climate change.
These steps demonstrate the current administration’s intention to bring back coal jobs, a promise that Donald Trump made during his campaign. However, despite these promises and actions taken by the Trump Administration, it is unlikely that coal will make a comeback due to the strength of competing forms of alternative energy, such as natural gas. Furthermore, removing these environmental protection programs is a step in the wrong direction for the global community, especially since these actions are politically motivated. By repealing these Obama-era policies, there will be an increase in carbon emissions which will lead to more Harveys and Irmas.
Despite the federal government’s attempt dismantle these policies, certain states have picked up the burden to continue towards the goal proposed by the Clean Power Act, just as some states chose to still follow the guidelines for the Paris Agreement. In fact, California and New York are even moving past their targets in the Clean Power Plan. However, federal help is still crucial to fully address the issue of climate change. Although quite a few states have significantly limited their pollutant emissions, others still might revert to their old polluting ways.
A lot is still ambiguous at this point: the EPA is required to limit carbon dioxide emissions to a certain extent, and a substitute plan has not yet been proposed. Furthermore, a legal battle about the decision to roll back the Clean Power Plan is also expected to come soon, based off of the heavy backlash from environmental groups and certain states.
Photo taken from pixabay.com.