WYOMING – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday their plans to rescind the Clean Power Plan (CPP). EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed the notice of proposed rulemaking which formally begins the process of repealing the CPP. Wyoming has objected to the plan since it was issued in 2014.
Wyoming has objected to the plan since it was issued in 2014. So it’s no surprise the Wyoming delegation applauded the signing. U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Representative Liz Cheney, all R-Wyo., said the Obama-eraClean Power Plan mandates unrealistic carbon reductions. They also said it would essentially stop new coal power plants from being constructed as well as force most existing plants to close in the coming years.
Governor Matt Mead also voiced his support for the EPA’s decision.
“The process that gave us the Clean Power Plan was flawed and the rule itself is flawed,” Mead said. “As I’ve said all along, the agency overstepped its authority in creating this rule. It is overly burdensome for industry and removes regulatory authority from the states. We now have an opportunity to work with the EPA as the process goes forward. I appreciate Administrator Pruitt taking this action – it is important and a catalyst for growth.”
Under the CPP, Wyoming would have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 44%. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay and stopped implementation of the rule while a lower court considered a lawsuit filed by Wyoming and 26 other states to strike it down. The states argued the EPA did not have the proper authority to issue the rule; the Clean Power Plan would take authority away from states to regulate in-state power generation and transmission; and the final rule was substantially different from its draft version – a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
“It is great to see the Trump Administration taking action to roll back the unfair and onerous Clean Power Plan,” Enzi said. “The Obama-era regulation oversteps the EPA’s legal bounds and directly attacks America’s coal industry. The federal government should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. This rule risks increasing energy prices and destroying thousands of high-paying jobs that support our communities. The end of this burdensome regulation will be a win for Wyoming and our country as a whole.”
Barrasso added, “I am glad to see that the Environmental Protection Agency is taking formal steps to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The EPA is supposed to issue reasonable regulations to protect America’s air. The Clean Power Plan was unreasonable and unlawful. It would have hurt energy workers in Wyoming and harmed the state’s economy. I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt as he pursues policies that protect our environment and allow America’s economy to grow.”
Cheney had the harshest words for the previous plan. “EPA Administrator Pruitt’s decision to repeal the Obama Administration’s disastrous ‘Clean Power Plan’ is an important and necessary step toward reversing the harmful Obama-era policies that strangled our economy,” the House Rep said. “Wyoming’s communities and fossil fuel industry were hit the hardest by Obama’s anti-coal agenda for the past eight years. For too long the Clean Power Plan killed jobs and needlessly wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to increase renewable energy and decrease fossil fuels.”