EPA proposes to repeal Clean Power Plan

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Oct. 10 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

“After reviewing the CPP, EPA has proposed to determine that the Obama-era regulation exceeds the agency’s statutory authority,” the EPA said in a news release.

EPA said that repealing the CPP “will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, in keeping with the principles established in President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence.”

The EPA issued its final Clean Power Plan in the fall of 2015. In February 2016, the Supreme Court issued a stay of the EPA rule pending a resolution to litigation over the contentious rule.

An executive order issued by President Trump in March 2017 directed the EPA to review, revise or repeal the final rule on CO2. The EPA sent its Clean Power Plan review proposal to the OMB in June.

EPA argues CPP was issued pursuant to ‘novel and expansive’ view of authority

The EPA argued that the CPP was issued pursuant to “a novel and expansive view of authority” under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The CPP required regulated entities to take actions “outside the fence line,” the EPA said.

“Traditionally, EPA Section 111 rules were based on measures that could be applied to, for, and at a particular facility, also referred to as ‘inside the fence line’ measures,” it said in the news release.

EPA is proposing to repeal CPP because the CPP departed from the traditional limit on EPA’s authority under an “inside the fence line” interpretation, the agency said.

The proposed repeal examines the Obama administration’s cost-benefit analysis, as well as provides insights to support an updated analysis of the environmental, health, and economic effects of the proposed repeal, the agency said. The Trump administration estimates the proposed repeal could provide up to $33 billion in avoided compliance costs in 2030.

The EPA said that as part of the notice-and-comment process for the proposed repeal, EPA will continue the analysis “and inform the public, as necessary, to get feedback on new modeling and other information. The final action on this proposed repeal will address the results of this ongoing work.”

An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will also be issued.

EPA has sent the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the Federal Register for publication. Upon publication, the public will have 60 days to submit comments.

The repeal package includes a “preamble,” which lays out the proposed legal interpretation, policy implications, and a summary of the cost-benefits analysis of the proposed repeal, as well as a regulatory impact analysis, an in-depth cost-benefit technical analysis.