The Clean Power Plan is an Obama Era Environmental Protection Agency regulation on stationary power sources (i.e. coal plants) to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% below 2005 levels in the United States. The plan allows individual states to come up with their own plans for meeting these emissions reductions. The Trump administration is now determined to repeal this plan and “replace” it with something that no doubt will let industry do whatever it would like, regardless of whether or not carbon emissions are reduced.
The law (see Massachusetts v. EPA, 2007) says that if carbon dioxide is found to be a public health threat, the EPA must regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act. In 2009, the EPA found that carbon dioxide does pose a public health risk in its endangerment finding, an incredibly thorough scientific compilation showing irrefutably that CO2 must be regulated.
Despite this, the Trump administration’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan as the Attorney General of Oklahoma, wants nothing more than to see the Clean Power Plan gone. Pruitt and his industry ilk argue that they can still meet the legal regulatory requirements of the endangerment finding (which Pruitt also railed against) with a replacement to the CPP, but they fail to explain how. Even Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA Administrator in the George W. Bush administration, had this to say: “the Clean Power Plan is legal, it’s flexible, it’s in line with where the market is already going, and it will allow EPA to tackle our biggest environmental challenge using the same smart, effective and economically responsible approach that it has successfully employed for decades.”
On Tuesday, November 28th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Virginia Capitol Complex, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, West Virginia the EPA will hold a public hearing on repeal of the CPP. Pre-registration to speak at the hearing will be available once the hearing is published in the Federal Register. The hearing will continue on Nov. 29th in the same time frame and possibly Nov. 30th if there is enough interest, but Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action is encouraging folks to attend the 28th if possible just to be there on day one.
The coal industry is already working to turn out speakers, that I can promise you. We have to respond with a strong turn out! Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action and Wood County Indivisible will let people know as soon as they can pre-register. The Trump administration is holding these hearings in Charleston, WV because they’re counting on strong opposition to the CPP in the area. Let’s show them that West Virginians aren’t just fossil fuels flunkies!