11 October 2017

Reactions to Trump’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan

President Trump administration’s move to abolish the Clean Power Plan has provoked multiple reactions from States, businesses and environmental groups questioning the rationality of the decision from both moral and economic perspective.

On Tuesday, Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the amendment of the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s landmark achievement to cut US greenhouse gas emissions.

As reported by The Guardian, New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman said he would sue the Trump Administration in order to prevent its “irresponsible and illegal efforts to turn the clock back the clock on public health”.

Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General also stated that he would do everything in his power to defend the Clean Power Plan.

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said the organisation would fight President Trump and EPA Administrator Pruitt “in the courts, in the streets, and at the state and local level across America to protect the health of every community”.

In a statement back in March 2017, several big companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft had signed a letter of support to the Clean Power Plan, in the wake of President Trump’s intentions to abolish it.

“Climate change is one of our most significant global challenges and strong action is critical to meeting the serious threat posed by greenhouse gas emissions”.

“We believe that strong clean energy and climate policies, like the Clean Power Plan, can make renewable energy supplies more robust and address the serious threat of climate change while also supporting American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth.”

According to The Guardian, a spokesman of the giant food manufacturer Mars said: “Mars has been outspoken about the need for business and government to step up and address critical global challenges, like climate change. We are disappointed by the decision”.

Mustafa Santiago Ali, a former Senior Official at the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice said: “Unfortunately, our most vulnerable communities will face the brunt of this irresponsible decision, including disproportionate health impacts, while rich corporations that have control over the EPA will reap the profits”.

Jeff Holmstead, a Senior EPA official under George W. Bush and a contributor to the repeal of CPP claimed that even though the abolishment of the Clean Power Plan has firm legal grounds, the new administration should issue a replacement rule to avoid lawsuits.

“I think the business community doesn’t want this heavy-handed sort of regulation but they do want a replacement plan. They do want some sort of regulatory certainty”.

Pruitt has stated that it would repeal tax credits for wind and solar power projects so that renewable energy sources could “stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources”.

However, despite his effort to make a case for competition between energy sources, he didn’t mention any intention to cut public subsidies to oil, coal and gas producers.

According to Vox, Ted Thomas, Arkansas Public Service Commission Chair, said: “If they don't get it together, we're going to have a different administration in four years, and that's when folks might wish they had the Clean Power Plan”.

According to a poll conducted earlier this year by Yale and George Mason University, 69 percent of U.S voters “support putting "strict limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants".

The Siera Club, in a statement that it released after the announcement, underlines that 48 percent of Trump voters support limiting carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants to “reduce global warming and improve public health” and more than 49 percent believe that climate change is happening. 

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