Unveiled under former President Obama and billed as one of the Obama EPA’s signature achievements, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a regulatory behemoth that threatens not just affordable energy in the U.S. but state sovereignty and economic growth. Yet current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and President Trump are fighting to neutralize the threat of this top-down, one size fits all regulatory regime and are working to remove the rule before any widespread harm is realized.

On February 9, 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the rule, as many businesses and state officials challenging the rule alleged the CPP was ambiguous and overly broad. Therefore, until all of the legal challenges have been played out, the CPP cannot be enacted.

Just over a year later, President Trump signed an executive order directing EPA Administrator Pruitt to look at the rule and examine how it can be changed or repealed. Both Administrator Pruitt and President Trump have now put forth a new rulemaking to rescind the rule and have sent it to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Following OMB review, the new rulemaking will be published for public comment.

If the CPP were to be enacted, it would cause numerous negative economic impacts that will affect not just states, but also businesses and consumers alike. It has been projected that the CPP would cause a 12 to 17 percent increase in prices of electricity. In this estimate, every single state within the continental United States would see an increase in rates and 44 of them would see double digit increases.

Along with the increase in rates, the CPP would decrease household spending power by $64-79 billion and the annual compliance costs would be upwards of $73 billion. With these costs, the CPP is regressive in that it disproportionally hurts low-to-middle income Americans by reducing household incomes, forcing them out of jobs, and hiking the cost of energy.  

Thankfully President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have taken up the fight against this unnecessary federal overreach by the EPA. As Administrator Pruitt has stated regarding the plans to repeal the CPP, “The days of coercive federalism are over.”


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore