Saving or Killing the World? Trump administration rejects the largest effort to cut climate pollution in the U.S?!
Just when you think the world could not get any worse, it just did. Most recently, Scott Pruitt, EPA chief, decided to soon terminate the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), on the same day where at least 10 people were killed by raging wildfires in California and many Puerto Ricans are still suffering with extreme lack of power and water due to Hurricane Maria.
Shockingly, many people on social media have actually supported the idea to reject the CPP’s plan to stop climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, which turns out is the single largest source in the U.S. Although the CPP hasn’t put this into effect yet, the idea has been struck down and rumored to not go into effect until 2022. The CPP will still worsen the fight against climate change in the states by unifying a band of people who believe in the cause. However, what the CPP did do was signal that C02 was going to be controlled and that all companies have to do something about it eventually. It turns out that it was actually difficult for everyone to agree on a framework that limits emissions, such as Texas, which highly depends on fossil fuels.
The CPP is actually quite similar to the Paris climate accord, in which every country sets its own voluntary and nonbinding goal. The main part of the agreement is to get every country to accept that climate change is a serious problem and they have to do something about it. Eventually, all countries need to decide who should cut back on the use of emissions and when.
The program’s plan was to originally cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. from electrical power generation by 32 percent in 2030, close enough to the 2005 levels. As stated, “putting it into effect would lead to 72 million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions per year on average”. Up to 21 states are having to cut gas emissions, such as Texas, West Virginia, and Georgia.
Over-regulating carbon is a huge issue for utilities. Energy infrastructure, such as power plants and transmission lines take a long time, even years, to build and last for decades, so the decisions that are supposed to be made in 2030 for the limitations of gas emissions are being made today. In 2009, the Supreme Court decided that the EPA’s regulation on carbon dioxide must stay unviolated. Meaning the government will have to find a way to limit gas emissions, although Pruitt’s EPA may make it harder to replace the CPP. In the meantime, states like California and Colorado will continue to limit carbon dioxide pollutions from new and improved power plants. However, without the CPP, many states will start to lose reason that they should even reduce greenhouse gasses in the first place.