Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed papers Oct. 10 to begin a process to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the previous administration’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants scientifically connected to climate change.
Pruitt, a Southern Baptist layman and skeptic of scientific evidence linking greenhouse gas emissions to climate change, announced the proposed repeal in a speech Oct. 9 in Hazard, Ky.
“The war on coal is over,” Pruitt said at the event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Pruitt, who has in the past served as a deacon at First Baptist Church in Broken Arrow, Okla., and trustee at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was previously part of a coalition of state attorney generals which planned to sue the EPA opposing President Obama’s plan to cut U.S. carbon emissions by a third over the next quarter century.
Pruitt said in a press release President Trump’s EPA believes the Obama-era regulations exceeded the agency’s legal authority and the proposed new rules will save $33 billion in avoided costs in 2030.
Obama’s EPA said in 2015 the Clean Power Plan would not only help fight climate change but also curb health problems and premature deaths from heart and respiratory conditions made worse by air pollution.