United States to announce repeal of clean power plan

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Pruitt's rule wouldn't become final for months, and is then highly likely to face a raft of legal challenges.

Trump, like Pruitt, has refused to support the scientific consensus about man-made climate change and its risks for the planet.

The Clean Power Plan requires states to meet carbon emission reduction targets based on their energy consumption. While attorney general for Oklahoma, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times for what he described as "overreach".

Pruit framed the Clean Power Plan - a rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants - as an overstepping of federal authority that unfairly targeted power plants and the waning coal industry. The store's owners have been forced to lay off about 60 percent of its workers in recent years. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, joined him for the announcement.

The regulation was one of former President Barack Obama's signature efforts to combat climate change and aimed to reduce carbon dioxide pollution levels 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 within the power industry. Soon after it was introduced, a number of states challenged the legality of the plan and 29 went so far as to petition the Supreme Court to halt its implementation until a court could review it.

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Withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan is largely viewed as just the latest in the Trump administration's multi-pronged attempts to dismantle Obama's legacy on fighting climate change.

"The EPA has not determined whether it will promulgate a rule under section 111 (d) to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing EGUs, and, if it will do so, when it will do so and what form that rule will take", reads the draft.

The plan was supposed to be instrumental in helping the U.S. reach its goals for the Paris climate agreement, which Obama signed with 195 nations in 2015 and Trump canceled in June.

Environmental groups were already threatening legal action and protests prior to Pruitt's comments on Monday. The current president had a big portion of the campaign devoted to reassuring coal miners around the country that he would implement policies which will give new energy and meaning to a declining industry. Those numbers are dwarfed by the jobs created by building such clean power infrastructure as wind turbines and solar arrays.

This story comes on the heels of reports that Pruitt holds "back-to-back meetings, briefing sessions and speaking engagements nearly daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates - and nearly no meetings with environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates".