President-elect Trump made a promise to the coal workers that their industry will be brought back under his administration. The likely start to his plan would be the scrapping the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate change agenda, according to a newly appointed member of his transition team.
The Washington Examiner reports,
The agency would be dialed back to focus strictly on “genuine pollutants” that pose immediate harm to public health, and not carbon pollution blamed for causing manmade global warming, said Kathleen Hartnett-White, a member of Trump’s economic advisory council, in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
“He’s very much for clean air and clean water,” she said. “But the better home for considering this discussion about carbon dioxide and climate is in the Department of Energy.”
Over the last eight years of the Obama administration, the EPA “used the legal rubrics of the Clean Air Act really to pursue a low-carbon energy policy and really not to further environmental protection,” she said.
The climate concerns “are really a discussion about energy, not really a discussion about environmental protection,” she said.
She explained that regulating CO2 “is the killer for coal.” So, pulling back the two principal regulations directed at the coal industry will help that resource the most, she said. “The two direct regulations for new sources and for existing sources are both direct regulations, and are also the ones that I think have constitutional problems,” she said.
Both regulations are undergoing court review and are expected to go to the Supreme Court before a final decision is made on their legality. Over half the states in the country are opposing the centerpiece of the regualtions, called the Clean Power Plan, by arguing that EPA has overstepped its legal authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2.
The Supreme Court put a hold on the EPA power plan on Feb. 9 as it makes its way through a lower federal appeals court.
“Carbon dioxide has no adverse impact in the air we breath at all,” Hartnett-White said. “It’s a harmless trace gas that is actually an essential nutrient for plants.”
Read the full story at The Washington Examiner