Before he became the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt was a simple Oklahoma politician with deep-ties to the fossil fuels. Since joining the EPA, he’s been tasked with regulating the energy industry, and topping his previous work, Pruitt announced Monday that he was reversing the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation on carbon emissions from coal-operated power plants.
Speaking in front of a sign for an underground mining company (Cat), Pruitt said that it was unfair for the previous administration to use the EPA to try and steer the United States toward different type of energy sources. “The war on coal is over,” Pruitt declared:
Obama’s plan was designed to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The rule dictated specific emission targets for states based on power-plant emissions and gave officials broad latitude to decide how to achieve reductions.
The Supreme Court put the plan on hold last year following legal challenges by industry and coal-friendly states. Even so, the plan helped drive a recent wave of retirements of coal-fired plants, which also are being squeezed by lower costs for natural gas and renewable power, as well as state mandates promoting energy conservation.
Pruitt, like President Trump, does not believed that fossil fuel emissions are the primary driver of climate change and, as the Oklahoma Attorney General, he sued the Obama administration over the Clean Power Plan. Yet Scott Pruitt believes he knows best, and maybe he knows a way to keep air breathable and water drinkable while propping up an industry that began its decline in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, on Earth…