White House Puts Ideology Over Science and Law in Repealing Clean Power Plan

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White House Puts Ideology Over Science and Law in Repealing Clean Power Plan

Statement by Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists.

WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to issue a proposal tomorrow to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan—continuing its pattern of putting ideology over science, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The purported rationale for this proposal, as it appears in a leaked draft, is that the Clean Power Plan is unlawful, a position that is directly contrary to what the EPA and the Justice Department argued in court just last fall. 

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of UCS.

“As severe storms, intensified by warming waters and air, remind us of the urgency of addressing global warming, the administration will repeal  the only national plan the United States had for cutting emissions from one of the biggest global warming contributors—power plants.

“Instead of addressing one of the most significant problems facing mankind, the administration thumbed its nose at science, and now at the law. Rather than positioning America in the global clean energy marketplace, the administration will stand on the sidelines.

“This decision is irrevocably tainted by a conflict of interest.  The EPA’s newly minted claim that the Clean Power Plan is legally invalid comes from—believe it or not—the legal brief of none other than Scott Pruitt, who challenged the Clean Power Plan in court as attorney general of Oklahoma. Mr. Pruitt has now participated in this issue as lawyer for one side, then as the judge and jury at EPA, and now as the executioner of the Clean Power Plan. Notably, a respected court was poised to resolve the legal issue, but Pruitt asked the court to hold off, so that he could short-circuit the judicial process.

"As a result of this cynical move, power plants will continue to have the right to emit unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, free from any federal regulation.

“Despite the administration’s claims, undoing the Clean Power Plan will not bring back coal. If the administration truly cared about coal miners and coal communities, it would work with Congress to pass legislation to help with transition assistance, worker training and the creation of new economic opportunities.”

Please also see Kimmell's blog on the problems with Pruitt's legal reasoning.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

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