Scott Pruitt plans to replace the Clean Power Plan

Written By: Jen Neville
December 8, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepared an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to get public input on the possibility of a replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan. On Dec. 7, Scott Pruitt, the Administrator at EPA, told lawmakers that the EPA would issue a replacement regulation.

We are going to be introducing a replacement rule too, in place of the Clean Power Plan.

“I would prefer the EPA do everything in its power to obliterate the Clean Power Plan,” Tom Pyle, a conservative lobbyist with the American Energy Alliance who led Trump’s Energy Department transition team, told Politico. “Ultimately, the responsibility to fix this mess lies with the Congress, so until they act, the only thing the Administration can do is minimize the damage.”

The replacement rule is expected to regulate emissions from “inside the fenceline” of power plants. The CPP’s original rule required plant owners to reduce emissions by going “outside of the fenceline” of their generators, thus, look into renewables or natural gas.

The “fenceline” provision caused controversy within EPA. The agency, including Pruitt, used the provision as an example of the Plan’s bad judgment. Back in 2014, Pruitt drafted a similar “inside the fenceline” provision to the CPP when he challenged the rule with the Oklahoma attorney general.

With the CPP still intact, the provision could start a legal battle from EPA’s own carbon endangerment finding from 2009. The finding gives EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases.

“In fact there was something done in 2009 that in my estimation has never been done since and was never done before,” said Pruitt at the hearing. “[The EPA] took work from the UN [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and transported it to the agency and adopted it as the core of the finding.”

Pruitt continued, telling the lawmakers that he had been conducting an “internal review” of the climate science, and plans to announce his findings in January.
American Electric Power spokewoman Tammy Ridout told Politico she would support a new proposal if it was more aligned with the Clean Air Act.

“We think that future regulation of carbon emissions from power production is likely, and could provide additional planning certainty,” said Ridout.

Get news, insights, podcasts, videos, webinars, and events delivered to your inbox every Tuesday

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking airquality ANPR