President Donald Trump’s administration is moving to dismantle a key part of the Obama administration’s environmental regulations that has helped curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the nation’s dependence on imported oil.
In an executive order Friday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the new plan to dismantle the 2015 Clean Power Plant Rule, which requires coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions by 27 percent by 2030 and 31 percent by 2040.
This year, a federal judge ordered the rule to go into effect for two years.
The rule, passed in 2015 by then-President Barack Obama’s administration, required coal plants to meet certain emissions reduction goals and reduce emissions to 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
This is the first step to dismantle this rule.
“It is my belief that the Clean Air Act should be used to enact this rule, and I am committed to working with the incoming administration to make sure this happens,” Zinke said in a statement.
“We have already begun the process to work out the details of this plan.
We hope that the new administration will also continue the process of repealing the Clean Water Rule, the Clean Technology Loan Program, and other Obama administration regulations.
The administration will continue to work on repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and other important regulations and making them more effective and less costly.”
The rule required coal-burning power plants and other power plants in the U.S. to comply with the Clean Energy Standard (CEOS), which aims to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2025.
The rule also mandates that power plants have a new coal-saving technology known as “efficiency upgrades,” which convert CO2 into energy.
In 2020, a new efficiency standard was introduced to reduce CO2 by more than half.
The Obama administration and other utilities argued that the rule had an effect on their profits, as the new standards required them to buy more power plants.
The Trump administration countered that the rules were a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Zinke also said the rule would be “very difficult” to undo, and he called on Congress to fund the rule’s implementation through the end of this year.
“The administration will not be able to undo this rule unless Congress acts to provide us with the resources and flexibility to do so,” Zinkis statement said.
“The President has been clear that he will use the authority of his office to implement the Clean power Plan,” Zinki added.
“I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion with our colleagues on Capitol Hill to achieve this goal.”
The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.