EDF: Pruitt Should Abandon Misguided Effort to Repeal Clean Power Plan

Comments Call for Implementing, Strengthening Vital Protection against Climate Pollution

February 27, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – February 27, 2018) EDF has formally asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “abandon its misguided effort to repeal the [Clean Power Plan].”

EDF submitted comments to EPA last night in response to the agency’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) – a step EPA is taking as it considers whether to replace the Clean Power Plan with a different proposal for limiting the pollution that causes climate change.

“EDF urges EPA to withdraw this ANPR and to abandon its misguided effort to repeal the [Clean Power Plan],” EDF said in its comments. “Almost eleven years after the Supreme Court first recognized EPA’s authority and responsibility under the [Clean Air Act] to address the urgent threat of climate change, it is long past time for EPA to implement and strengthen the [Clean Power Plan]. Instead, Administrator Scott Pruitt has sought to repeal the [Clean Power Plan] outright, without even making a firm commitment to put in place a meaningful replacement. And the Administrator has launched a protracted and unnecessary process – beginning with this ANPR – that is clearly designed to ensure that any ‘replacement’ for the CPP, if it is completed at all, will deliver limited or no benefits for our climate or public health.”

EDF also joined a coalition of 14 health, environmental, and citizens groups to submit comments to EPA, saying:

“The Administrator’s slow-walking approach and the artificially narrow emission-reduction measures constitute an unlawful shirking of his duty under the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of dangerous pollutants. Especially given the urgent hazards of climate change, the agency’s failure to comply with its statutory mission to protect public health and the environment is unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious.”

The Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Clean Air Task Force, Clean Wisconsin, Conservation Law Foundation, Earthjustice, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists joined EDF in submitting those comments.

The Clean Power Plan would limit carbon pollution from power plants. It is the single largest step the U.S. has ever taken to address the threat of climate change. The Trump Administration itself determined that repealing the Clean Power Plan could cause up to 4,500 more premature deaths and 90,000 more childhood asthma attacks each year by 2030.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt released a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan in October of last year.

In December, Pruitt also announced the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) – a step usually taken when a federal agency is considering whether or not protections are needed and has little or no information available to inform its approach. The ANPR asked for public comment about what a replacement for the Clean Power Plan should be, even though EPA had already held extensive public hearings and received more than four million comments while developing the Clean Power Plan.

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