CPP Rolled Back

Tuesday’s executive order begins long process for energy regulations

The executive order signed by President Trump on Tuesday was no surprise, but it still provokes a heap of questions.

An important pillar of the current president’s campaign was built on energy realignment, specifically a rollback of the Clean Power Plan and rejuvenating the coal industry. With Tuesday’s motion, the administration aimed to generate some steam to a fulfillment of those promises. The rollback is designed to be facilitated through the Environmental Protection Agency, now spearheaded by Scott Pruitt, a politician who’s spent half his career battling environmental regulations. He and his department will now have to structure a new plan to replace it. Presumably, this will be more lenient on coal-fired plant emissions, aiming to bring back jobs to the suffering industry.

This will most likely be a long and arduous repeal process. To repeal regulations like the CPP, federal agencies have to follow the same rule-making system (requiring periods of public notice and comment) used to create regulations. This generally takes about a year. It will also likely face opposition, including 18 state attorney generals who have already publicly pledged to defend the CPP, and the scores of environmental groups and renewable energy advocates who helped construct it as one of former president Obama’s signature pieces of legislation.

Lastly, prior to the abundance of speculation bound to ensue regarding this topic, the CPP rollback changes the United States’ role in the Paris Agreement. The late 2015 talks centered around a global initiative to combat climate change had the original CPP as a keystone. Without it, many experts say meeting the proposed goals in the Paris Agreement will be extremely difficult, and inevitably delayed.

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