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EPA Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule (nytimes.com) 316

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source: The Trump administration announced Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama's signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, setting up a bitter fight over the future of America's efforts to tackle global warming. At an event in eastern Kentucky, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that his predecessors had departed from regulatory norms in crafting the Clean Power Plan, which was finalized in 2015 and would have pushed states to move away from coal in favor of sources of electricity that produce fewer carbon emissions. The repeal proposal, which will be filed in the Federal Register on Tuesday, fulfills a promise President Trump made to eradicate his predecessor's environmental legacy. Eliminating the Clean Power Plan makes it less likely the United States can fulfill its promise as part of the Paris climate agreement to ratchet down emissions that are warming the planet and contributing to heat waves and sea-level rise. Mr. Trump has vowed to abandon that international accord.

In announcing the repeal, Mr. Pruitt made many of the same arguments that he had made for years to Congress and in lawsuits: that the Obama administration exceeded its legal authority in an effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. (Last year, the Supreme Court blocked the rule from taking effect while courts assessed those lawsuits.) A leaked draft of the repeal proposal asserts that the country would save $33 billion by not complying with the regulation and rejects the health benefits the Obama administration had calculated from the original rule.

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EPA Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:36PM (#55339697)

    No need to drag it out we see whatâ(TM)s going on. Having whores piss on a bed that Obamaâ(TM)s was not enough apparently.

  • Fuck Trump (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:38PM (#55339715)

    But more importantly:

    Fuck you.

    Trump is the symptom. You are the problem.

    We don't think we're better. We know it.

  • What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:40PM (#55339725) Journal
    What's next? Penalize solar and wind and other renewables? Tax people who already have solar panels on their houses and businesses? All so some ass-backwards, mostly dead already coal industry can hang on for a while longer? When will this insanity end?
    • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by budsetr ( 4952293 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:43PM (#55339755)
      No, next is tax breaks for coal company owners. Bonus points for each ten cases of black lung!!
      • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:20PM (#55340025) Homepage

        Coal companies **already** get plenty of tax breaks. As do oil companies. And pretty much every goddamn company in the country.

        It would be a very interesting, very Republican and very unlikely experiment to roll back ALL the tax breaks.

        Let the Invisible hand sort it out.

        • one of the party's central tenets is low taxes on business lead to better outcomes for the country. These sorts of tax breaks are exactly what they stand for.

          Not that I'm in favor of letting the invisible hand sort it out mind you. When in anyone's life has a bad situation been made better by leaving it alone and hoping for the best?
          • by necro81 ( 917438 )

            one of the party's central tenets is low taxes on business lead to better outcomes for the country. These sorts of tax breaks are exactly what they stand for.

            They are also nominally for a balanced budget and lowering the national debt. They don't seem too concerned with that at the moment.

            There was a time, too, when they were purportedly the party that were the hard rationalists, not swayed by touchy-feeling, think-of-the-children arguments. (That kind of mamby-pamby stuff was for bed-wetting liberal

            • They are also nominally for a balanced budget and lowering the national debt. They don't seem too concerned with that at the moment.

              Have they ever been?

          • one of the party's central tenets is low taxes on business lead to better outcomes for the country. These sorts of tax breaks are exactly what they stand for.

            Without the tax subsidies, solar is cheaper than combined gas cycle--which is insanely low-cost. It's time to let the invisible hand sort it out. Maybe reduce subsidies slowly, sure, but it's time.

            Bear in mind I'm pulling an FDR and slapping my own party with the large fact that income plus FICA totals $2,656 billion of revenue in 2016, while 35% tax on corporate profits totals $299.6 billion. Roosevelt said that workers want security in the permanence of their employment, security of their savings, a

        • It would be a very interesting, very Republican and very unlikely experiment to roll back ALL the tax breaks.

          There is a group of Republicans who want this, and are really in favor of fighting for it. There is another group of Republicans who want the tax breaks, and are happy to vote in more (and more spending too!)

          Then there is a group of rational people who realize that if they roll back all tax breaks, they will get voted out of office by people who lost their mortgage interest deduction.

          There's a large chunk of Americans who benefit from tax deductions.

          • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @04:08AM (#55341591)

            It would be a very interesting, very Republican and very unlikely experiment to roll back ALL the tax breaks.

            There is a group of Republicans who want this, and are really in favor of fighting for it. There is another group of Republicans who want the tax breaks, and are happy to vote in more (and more spending too!)

            Then there is a group of rational people who realize that if they roll back all tax breaks, they will get voted out of office by people who lost their mortgage interest deduction.

            There's a large chunk of Americans who benefit from tax deductions.

            The invisible hand of the market is going to optimize based on economic considerations, and is usually going to take a shorter term look at things.

            Government can, should, and must put its thumb on the scale to coerce optimal or near optimal longer term conditions while preserving individual rights. One of the things government must watch the long term health of is the environment.

            Now I'm all for getting rid of tax breaks that are not justified. If you can't say model the whole thing and explain how this or that tax breaks benefit exceeds its cost, then the break should and must go, possibly with a corresponding decrease in overall rates.

            Natural gas is what half the carbon of coal? To an extent, coal isn't going to see a miraculous return as long as that is the case, regardless of what Scott does. That doesn't make his actions correct in any way shape or form, just less damaging than they might otherwise be. That is not the invisible hand of the market safeguarding the environment. That is just pure dumb luck.

            I am still less than certain if solar and such is at the point where putting it on everyone's houses with batteries is the way to go, but I do think it is something to aspire for, particularly if we can recycle it all. Nuclear is still on my bucket list for base power, but the problem is, you need to be sure that you always have a regulatory and inspection regime that is top notch. Can you imagine the kind of inept regulators a Trump might put in power? They could easily allow another Tepco mess.

            Obama did his job by appointing competent people who did their jobs to protect and guarantee the future of our country.

            Trump is doing the job he wants done, by saying fuck everything, how can we get some short term gains to make Trump look good and to hell with the long term of the country.

            I personally think it is more than that though. Trump is not playing N-dimensional chess. People bend themselves into pretzels to say that, but it seems more and more like the ravings and rantings of someone who needs to be in an adult day care center, and not in command of the nuclear codes. A rational and ethical man does not put someone who hates environmental protections in charge of protecting the environment or someone who can't remember the energy departments name in charge of the energy department.

          • Then there is a group of rational people who realize that if they roll back all tax breaks, they will get voted out of office by people who lost their mortgage interest deduction.

            The real problem is that people won't vote for things to stay the same. They'll vote for a tax break, or they'll vote against a tax increase, but they won't vote for the tax breaks being eliminated and the tax rates being jiggled so that they pay the same amount of money in the end, because they don't get or lose anything personally. Meanwhile, they shoot themselves in the foot, but they'd have to think past next Thursday (or next April, anyway) to realize that.

        • No, it would be economically conservative to roll back those tax breaks. The Republican Party has largely left behind most sane notions of conservatism.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hackwrench ( 573697 )
      We should use all of the energy resources at our disposal. Besides these don't appear to be the Paris Treaty agreement rules we're talking about. Everybody takes care of their own problems, and that is why we are going to be fine.
    • Re: What's next? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They already tried the punishments for solar and wind in Florida.

      And Arizona, too, if I recall correctly.

      The insanity shows no sign of ending, instead they are redoubling on their madness. The GOP is the very definition of fanatics.

      The thing they don't realize is that states like North Carolina and Maryland are already suing over out of state pollution, states like California are forcing coal owned by their own utilities to shut down, and even Texas and Iowa see the benefits of wind farms.

      Coal burned for e

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Looks like tariffs on solar imports are next.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by volkris ( 694 )

      You're making quite the leap here.

      So the Trump administration isn't going to illegally punish those who would have been hurt under the CPP, the ones who brought suit to prevent those penalties and were making a successful case that they couldn't have those burdens imposed on them without at least legal authority.

      Just because this administration isn't going to punish one group doesn't mean it's going to punish a different one.

      It means more fairness under the law, not less.

    • Re:What's next? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh.gmail@com> on Monday October 09, 2017 @09:04PM (#55340513) Journal

      Every other country on the planet would like to thank the USA for giving us such a generous head start in the renewable energy sector. It surely isn't cheap to hang back and use ancient ultra-polluting forms of energy that will soon be legislated out of existence, and we appreciate it!

    • When will this insanity end?

      I can give you a real, no joke answer to that question. In 2014 when the Democrats retake the White House. And sorry folks, but no matter how bad Trump is in 2020, he's winning re-election. The Democrats will again fail to nominate someone who can win a national election in 2020 but they should get it right in 2024. There will likely be a lot of environmental damage to clean up by the time 2024 comes around.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Or appointed federal alphabet soup agencies to craft a legacy (no I'm not talking about SCOTUS appointments). Easy come easy go. I bet the president after Trump will reverse what Trumps EPA did as well. If you want a legacy you get law passed through Congress. How's that healthcare repeal coming? Obamas legacy is in the ACA good or bad.

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      except it's not an executive order.

      the EPA is an independent federal agency, bound by law establishing its charter to work to improve and protect the environment in order to protect the public health. the Clean Power Plan falls under that jurisdiction.

      • by necro81 ( 917438 )
        (some additional context)

        There is ample precedent and case law that the EPA not only has the authority to regulate CO2 emissions, it also has an obligation to do so. Here are two relatively recent decisions:

        Massachusettes v EPA [wikipedia.org]: a 5-4 decision from 2007 that said that, under the wording of the Clean Air Act, CO2 emissions fall under the EPA's jurisdiction. Indeed, the ruling went so far as to say that the EPA cannot ignore CO2 pollution by failing to regulate it.

        Utility Air v EPA [wikipedia.org]: a 7-2 decision
  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:51PM (#55339821) Journal

    Free market will drive energy production towards its natural destination, which is away from fossil fuels, and even nuclear. Distributed power generation and storage is where the future (currently) lies - the tipping point has already been reached. Solar production is not skyrocketing because the CAA pushed power companies away from fossil fuels. The core reason is the global manufacturing industry has slowly, and finally, ramped up photovoltaic cell production to the point that it is extremely competitive. Battery technology (not just driven by energy demands, but primarily by mobile computing which requires very high-density, long-lasting batteries) has been increasing steadily as well. Couple the two together and you have a big part of the future of energy production.

    So as with many things in politics, this move is purely... political, and really doesn't matter either way. Sort of like the Paris Agreement.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:31PM (#55340079)

      Free market will drive energy production towards its natural destination

      When will you drooling idiot Ayn Rand fanboi's get it through your thick heads that there has never been a free market, a free market is a construct which cannot exist and is incapable of solving certain kinds of problems, and that even Adam Smith said such things and that government regulation was necessary to keep it in check?

      Humans will lie, cheat, steal, collude, form cartels, bribe and pretty much everything else that they can think of to gain an advantage.

      There is no fucking such thing as a free market. Never has been, never will be. It sure as fuck drive anything to it's "natural destination". Sorry, that's wishful thinking and a belief in magic.

      The free market is a bullshit lie told to idiotic young Libertarians and other morons. Stop treating it like it's some magical beneficial thing, when it's made up of a bunch of greedy assholes screwing over everyone else ... that doesn't produce optimal results no matter what fairytale version of economics you believe in.

      Corporations retain all of the power, because they pay politicians to rig the game. Trump is pandering to his rich cronies, and you think that bullshit is a free market which can achieve optimal outcomes? Then you are really too fucking stupid for your own good.

    • Repealing such rules, making it cheaper to burn oil or coal, push the "when" even further back. And THAT is the problem : it will allows for even more gigatons of CO2 in the atmosphere in the mean time, when such a rule may , at a slight cost, have slowed down the emissions. So unless you are a climate change denier, repealing such a rule is a very obvious "fuck you" to future generations, just for a SHORT TERM benefit, fuck the long term. Thanks the FSM I will be dead and I have no children, when the effec
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It seems like there are real consequences to the current US government policy. As well as increased pollution, health damage and deaths, it's shifting money from clean generation to dirty.

      There are likely to be international consequences too, especially to Paris, as other countries put requirements in place that make US companies less competitive.

      You had better hope that individuals fighting the government on this are well resourced, but it's going to cause some degree of pain no matter what.

  • Coal is dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:55PM (#55339865)
    Natural gas killed it. Cheaper, fewer emissions, fewer miners killed. Does't matter what the cheeto in charge wants or legislates, natgas has killed coal.

    I remember as a kid dad driving past oil fields burning off natural gas. I couldn't believe it was cheaper to burn it off that to sell it. Still can't, to be honest.
  • I wonder what the jobs:deaths ratio will turn out to be for that decision by the end of this presidential term.
  • It's the hottest planet in the solar system because of its CO2 based runaway greenhouse gas situation. It's remarkably bad model to want to emulate.
  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @03:34AM (#55341525)
    Devoid of ideas of his own trump just wants to repeal everything that Obama did, whether it is good, bad or indifferent
  • by spaceman375 ( 780812 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @08:12AM (#55342387)

    Perhaps we need a cap on the maximum age of POTUS? This one seems to think like it's 1955.

  • by trevize42 ( 1086179 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @08:41AM (#55342497)
    I remember as a kid in the 1960/70s not being allowed outside during summer vacation due to "Smog Alerts". So glad we're making America great again. Looking forward to the enjoyable times of not letting my kids play outside.

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