Leaked Draft: EPA Will Propose to Abolish the Clean Power Plan

Unconscionable Rollback Would Imperil Our Children’s Health, Our Nation’s Climate Security

October 6, 2017
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – October 6, 2017) A leaked draft shows that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is preparing to revoke the Clean Power Plan without replacing it with any meaningful protections from the climate-destabilizing pollution from smokestacks.

News reports today reveal a draft EPA proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan – America’s only nationwide limits on climate-destabilizing pollution from existing power plants. 

According to those reports, Administrator Pruitt would not take action to put new effective pollution limits in place despite his responsibility to protect Americans from harmful pollution under the Clean Air Act. That would mean existing power plants – our nation’s largest industrial source of the climate-destabilizing pollution associated with extreme weather – would be allowed to spew unlimited amounts of this harmful pollution into our air. 

“If Administrator Pruitt plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, that would be a complete abdication of EPA’s legal responsibility to protect our children’s lungs from dangerous smokestack pollution and their homes from climate-destabilizing extreme weather,” said EDF president Fred Krupp. “A repeal-without-replace effort would completely ignore the vast toll that power plant pollution takes on our climate security, and would be an unconscionable abandonment of efforts to protect the health of our children and communities. EDF will continue to fight for the Clean Power Plan.” 

When EPA issued the Clean Power Plan in 2015, the agency demonstrated that the carbon pollution reductions will provide up to $20 billion in climate-related benefits each year by 2030. The Clean Power Plan will also reduce other dangerous pollutants emitted by power plants, including hazardous particulates and smog-forming compounds. That will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 childhood asthma attacks, and 300,000 lost school and work days each year.

The Clean Power Plan would sustain and accelerate the expansion of America’s thriving clean energy economy, creating jobs and economic opportunities in red and blue states alike. A recent analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs reported that repealing the Clean Power Plan would cost as many as 560,000 jobs and $52 billion in economic activity in 2030. 

According to today’s reports, the new proposal uses a distorted analysis to obscure the harmful impacts of revoking the Clean Power Plan. Reports show the new analysis ignores key aspects of how pollution harms Americans, using a methodology that was discredited more than a decade ago as scientifically unsound and that ignores the full impacts of climate change. 

Pruitt’s action also ignores settled law that EPA must issue safeguards against climate pollution under the Clean Air Act – something the Supreme Court has concluded three times already. 

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.