US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief, Scott Pruitt, has said that the current administration will end a flagship environmental plan begun under former President Barack Obama. Speaking in Kentucky on Monday 9 October, Pruitt said that he would sign a rule against the plan on Tuesday, 10 October.
Pruitt said the rule would "withdraw the so-called clean power plan of the past administration", going on to say that it was not within the EPA's remit "to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy." The rule is expected to say that the plan overshot federal law with unreachable emissions standards - one source at a local environmental organisation noted to IBTimes UK that the ruling may just trigger an assessment process and could take years before anything substantive occurs.
US President Donald Trump has come under increasing pressure both domestically and internationally for roll-backs of environmental protections and plans brought in under President Obama.
Trump announced at the beginning of June 2017 that his administration would pull America out of the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement aimed at tackling global green house gas emissions and helping stem rising global warming.
Before his election as President, Trump had previously tweeted that climate change was a "hoax" and said it was "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." During his campaign he repeatedly blamed environmental rules for the US's declining coal industry.
The Obama-era clean power plan had given specific emissions targets to states in an effort to bring CO2 down to 32% below 2005 levels. The plan had not yet taken effect as the Supreme Court has issued a stay after legal challenges from states with large coal industries.
Environmental organisations have come out quickly against the proposed withdrawal. Sierra Club tweeted that the move would be a "deadly mistake", adding: "The Clean Power Plan would prevent 3,600 deaths every year."