Clean Up on Isle 9: Why the Clean Power Plan is Getting Dumped

clean power plan

“The war on coal is over,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on behalf of President Trump. What this means for the Clean Power Plan and the environment could have potentially disastrous consequences. We’ve got some serious Orwellian worthy weirdness going on here. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency scrubbed the words “climate change” from its website. Then they told three agency scientists who were scheduled to talk about climate change at an important industry conference that they couldn’t speak. What? But first, let’s back up.

The Clean Power Plan was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 and was picked up by the Obama administration with its aim focused on combatting global warming. To do this, it required states to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

The Clean Power plan became official in 2015, but has since then been confined to the courts. This is because states refused to comply, stating that its restrictions were too tough for current laws.

It was estimated that by 2030, the Clean Power Plan was going to reduce these greenhouse-gas emissions levels from the power sector by 32 percent since 2005.

Part of Trump’s campaign platform included taking apart just this. More than once, Trump voiced his support for coal miners and getting their jobs back.

paris climate accord clean power plan

However, there are also claims that deregulating plants powered by coal will not necessarily give jobs back to those who worked in the coal industry. This is because a lot of coal mining is currently done by machines that have already replaced many roles in the coal mining business.

Oh, and Trump also called global warming a hoax. And he said the climate change policies put in place by Obama were “stupid.”

So, Trump is about to cut them. Back in March, Trump signed an executive order to nullify the Clean Power Plan and give the power to Scott Pruitt to take apart the plan piece by piece.

A draft of Pruitt’s proposal to repeal was leaked earlier in October claimed the United States would save $33 billion if it did not follow through with the Clean Power Plan.

https://twitter.com/EPAScottPruitt/status/917802478845988864

But, this report also denied all the health benefits that were associated with limiting greenhouse-gases in the Clean Power Plan.

Fortunately, some states are independently making the switch to cleaner, renewable energy sources in the absence of the Clean Power Plan push. These sources include natural gas, solar and wind production of energy.

This leads to the question: What will people do for the environment without strict regulations, just out of the goodness of their hearts? Simply for the environment?

Well, a new study has been released by the Rhodium Group, a research firm that measures global trends. It claims that power sector emissions will still drop between about 27 and 35 percent below those 2005 levels the Clean Power Plan aimed to address.

Yes, the percentage could fall short of the Clean Power Plan’s initial 32 percent, but the Rhodium Group still predicts something close.

What helps in this reduction of harmful emissions are major companies that practice environmentally friendly production methods.

Forbes Magazine’s 2015 list of 14 companies considered most environmentally friendly included The Honest Company, founded by Jessica Alba and geared toward cleaning and personal care products. Seventh Generation, endorsed by Maya Rudolph, and method, also household product-focused brands, made the list as well.

Although products from companies like these may be marked up a bit in price, purchasing products with sound environmental practices behind them can make a difference. Though it may be small, everyone can do their part.

Cover image via Pinterest