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Trump administration announces repeal of Clean Power Plan. What now?

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Oct. 19, 2017  |  By Shruti Nayar

What is the Clean Power Plan?

In 2015, the Obama Administration created the Clean Power Plan. Intended to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions, the plan would have imposed specific restrictions on each state while still allowing them freedom with how they would accomplish those goals. The objective was to decrease 2005 emissions levels from electrical power generation 32%, by 20301.

Research for this plan suggests, if complied with, the Clean Power Plan would have led to numerous benefits, including cleaner air, a reduction in healthcare related costs, the creation of alternative energy jobs, and ultimately, it would help to combat global warming2. Below is a depiction by the Environmental Defense Fund of the projected benefits.

Why is Trump repealing it?

Unfortunately, we may not get to realize the benefits of the Clean Power Plan, because Trump’s administration is working on repealing it. According to Mr. Pruitt, Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, “the Obama administration exceeded its legal authority in an effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants”3.

What does the repeal mean for clean energy usage in the US?

Thankfully, although Trump has now rejected both the Paris Climate Agreement and the Clean Power Plan, many states have declared their continued commitment to significantly reducing their CO2 emissions (including states Green Street is in – New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut)4. In fact, Governor Cuomo & the U.S. Climate Alliance announced they’re on track to meet or exceed Paris Climate Agreement targets5. Additionally, a study performed by Rhodium Group shows current trends point to decreased electricity emissions: anywhere between 27-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels6.

Will a different plan be put in place?

The New York Times states that a revised, more lenient plan may take its place. “Some of the very people who advocated killing Mr. Obama’s climate policy have told Mr. Pruitt that his agency should devise a new, albeit weaker, rule to regulate carbon emissions in its place”7.

What can you do?

As always, any renewable energy commitments you can make with your home or business will have a positive impact on our environment. Grist released a study earlier this year assessing the impact of different individual efforts. You can see the results below8.

grist-individual-environmental-impact

If you haven’t already gone solar, find out how you can here.

1. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33753067
2. https://www.edf.org/climate/a-new-federal-clean-power-plan
3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/climate/clean-power-plan.html
4. https://www.usclimatealliance.org/
5. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-and-us-climate-alliance-announce-states-are-track-meet-or-exceed-targets-paris
6. http://rhg.com/notes/what-the-cpp-would-have-done
7. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/climate/clean-power-plan.html
8. http://grist.org/briefly/groundbreaking-study-outlines-what-you-can-do-about-climate-change/