WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt wiped away President Obama’s Clean Power Plan with a stroke of his pen Tuesday, one day after he announced the Trump administrations’ decision.
"The EPA is no longer in the business of picking winners and losers," Pruitt said.
Most notably, Pruitt reversed emissions regulations proposed by the previous administration. They never went into effect — delayed by legal challenges.
((Rep. Sean Duffy:"I couldn’t be more delighted," said Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI).
Duffy’s district is known for cheese not coal. But most of the power that flows through Wisconsin can be traced back to coal country.
He argues the regulation jeopardized thousands of jobs that draw heavily on electricity – like manufacturing -- with no real benefit for the environment.
"This rule hasn’t been implemented yet, so we’re still going to make progress on cleaner renewable fuels, but we don’t shut down jobs," Duffy said.
But many on the left – especially from outside coal country – criticize the choice to roll back the regulations. It’s a shift they say carries few benefits and substantial environmental costs.
"I’ve been to coal country, and really good people work there," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).
Welch says rolling back the regulations will hurt the country’s ability to compete with China, which he says is at the forefront of renewable energy development.
A member of the House Energy committee, he argues technological advances and cheaper, cleaner alternatives are driving coal’s disappearance, not regulation.
"They’re not going to change the math on the economy by really essentially pandering to a political point of view," Welch said.
Despite controlling the White House, Senate, and Congress, Republicans are struggling to fulfill pledges to to scrap key elements of Obama’s legacy.
But it took little effort to knockout the Clean Power Plan – an executive order, not law.