EPA Admin Pruitt says White House will withdraw from Clean Power Plan

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt stands after the swearing-in ceremony for US Ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2017.

Reuters

Last Updated Oct 9, 2017 12:58 PM EDT

HAZARD, Ky. — EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the Trump administration will withdraw from Obama-era Clean Power Plan to slow global warming.

"I'm excited to be with you here today because it's not just to visit about all the things we're doing which I think is very, very important for this country," Pruitt said Monday morning at an event in Hazard, Kentucky. "I'm here to make an announcement that's very, very important for you. Tomorrow in Washington, D.C. I'll be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called 'Clean Power Plan' of the past administration and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule."

Former president Barack Obama put the Clean Power Plan into place in 2015 with hopes of reducing carbon dioxide pollution levels by setting individual environmental goals for each state. It also aims to transition from coal-based energy to wind, solar and natural gas power.

"When you think about what that rule meant, that rule really was about picking winners and losers. Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers," Pruitt said. "The past administration was unapologetic. They were using every bit of power, every bit of authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers in how we generate electricity in this country. And that's wrong."

Pruitt also added that President Trump demonstrated "tremendous courage" when he made the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord this past June. 

"It was wrong for America. He put America first and said to the rest of the world, 'we're going to say no and exit the Paris accord.' That was the right thing to do," Pruitt said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was also present at the event and said that withdrawal from the Clean Power Plan would relax burdens that environmental regulations impose on the economy. 

"As EPA administrator, Scott is working to strike an appropriate balance between protecting water and air, and preventing the kind of job-killing over-regulation," McConnell said, adding that he's been working to "stop the war on coal in its tracks.