TIE off and collar open, Scott Pruitt unveiled his plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan to loud applause in Hazard, Kentucky, a sleepy coal town in the state’s mountainous south-east. “The war on coal is over,” said Mr Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on October 10th. The next day, in Washington, DC he signed a rule aimed at rescinding the Obama-era policy, which seeks to curb carbon emissions from power plants by 32% in 2030, compared to 2005 levels. But far from being the end of the Clean Power Plan, Mr Pruitt’s announcement is an opening salvo in a battle which could last for years.
The plan, which was drawn up more than three years ago, has never gone into effect. Just days after it was finalised, energy companies marshalled an impressive legal offensive, even recruiting Mr Obama’s mentor at Harvard Law School to claim that his protégé was “burning the constitution”. A federal court delayed implementing it until the EPA, now under new management, could issue a revised plan. Mr…Continue reading