Officials from 24 different states are urging Donald Trump to abolish President Obama’s Clean Power Plan once he gets into office. The goal of the plan, currently delayed by the Supreme Court until its legal challenges are sorted out, is to reduce the country’s carbon emissions – mainly from coal power plants. The alliance between Trump, and that of his future administration, and the coal industry does not bode well for the future of clean energy.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are the officials leading the charge against the plan. According to Reuters, they are asking both the legislative and (future) executive branches of government to take action against the emissions-lowering plan and any similar plan in the future. “The order (to withdraw the plan) should explain that it is the administration’s view that the (Clean Power Plan) is unlawful and that EPA lacks authority to enforce it,” said Morrisey. “The executive order is necessary to send an immediate and strong message to States and regulated entities that the administration will not enforce the rule.”
The Clean Power Plan hopes to reduce carbon emissions, mostly by coal-powered plants, to 32 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. Trump’s current cabinet picks have those rooting for clean energy feeling worried. Scott Pruitt, the climate change-denying Oklahoma Attorney General who opposes President Obama’s plans, has been selected to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Another skeptic of reason and science, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, has been tapped for the Department of Energy.
The president-elect himself has also promised to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, a move which a majority of Americans do not support. Even though he has more recently claimed an “open mind” regarding climate change, the big picture offers little relief to those defending the science.