The Trump administration's move to start dismantling the Clean Power Plan rule intended to curb carbon emissions that contribute to global warming will not be a quick process.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's announcement Sunday to a group of coal miners in eastern Kentucky that he plans to sign a proposed rule Tuesday rolling back the Obama-era rule is simply the first of a number of steps the agency will have to take.
Proposing a rule to undo a regulation takes the same time-consuming, pain-staking, research-based, legally-defensible process used to adopt the very rule targeted for elimination.
"Today’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan just begins the battle," David Doniger, a climate change expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council, wrote in a blog Monday. "Pruitt’s EPA must hold hearings and take public comment, and issue a final repeal — with or without a possible replacement. He must respond to all legal, scientific, and economic objections raised, including the issues we lay out here."
And then, Doniger said, "we will take Pruitt and his Dirty Power Plan to court."
Rolling back the rule was a major plank of President Trump's campaign last year.
He told friendly crowds in coal-producing states that lifting carbon restrictions would not only keep energy costs affordable but also help revitalize the coal industry and the communities economically ravaged by environmental regulations.