The Environmental Protection Agency announced that Chief Scott Pruitt signed a measure to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, setting up a bitter fight over the future of the U.S. government’s efforts to tackle climate change. Although the move is meant to help re-vitalize the coal industry, cheaper natural gas will likely continue to out-compete coal in many parts of the U.S. Moreover, many states are already preparing for the prospect of tougher carbon regulations under future administrations.
Several states and environmental groups plan to challenge the repeal proposal in federal courts, arguing against Mr. Pruitt’s decision based on both scientific and economic reasoning. Even in the absence of the rule, many utilities across the country have opted to shift to natural gas, wind and solar, driven by cost concerns and state-level policies. For example, California and New York, are already moving ahead of the targets set by the Clean Power Plan as they develop their own climate action plans in alignment with the Paris agreement.