EPA Chief Scott Pruit Rolls Back Obama Coal Policies
The EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt, announced that he had signed a rule that repeals the Obama era policy of limiting carbon emissions from power plants in the United States. This is in stark contrast to his predecessor and many countries across the globe.
The move is seen as a handout to energy workers. Many of those employed in the coal, natural gas, and oil industries are suffering due to record low energy prices. Obama era rules prioritized the development of clean and renewable energy.
This rule change repeals the “Clean Power Act of 2015” which was designed to get states to replace their coal infrastructure with clean/renewable sources. This is seen as a way to help the US meet emissions goals while reducing our overall carbon impact.
President Donald Trump campaigned on restoring government support of coal and other fossil fuel industries. This rule change is seen as a major victory for Trump supporters. Opposition to the rule change was immediate.
Many senators, including Kamala Harris of California, spoke out against the rule change. California has led the country in the development of clean energy and the EPA moving away from that goal is seen as a direct attack on the clean energy industry.
Climate scientists who track emissions suspect that the rule change will lead to a drastic increase in emissions in the years to come. Despite the government support for the fossil fuel industries, many analysts predict long-term prospects will not be good. This means that these industries will continue to receive government support for the near future.
Many states like Massachusetts and California are developing their own clean energy projects independent of the federal government. Other countries are also developing their clean energy technologies rapidly. China, Russia and India are all massively expanding their clean energy infrastructure.