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You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was already dead.
After all, President Trump thinks that the problem it was intended to address—climate change—is a hoax, and he signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to kill the plan back in March.
But the situation is substantially more complicated than that, as the Clean Power Plan had already been through a formal rulemaking process and was hung up in the courts.
To get rid of it, the EPA would need to repeat the rulemaking process, something that could take years.
So far, there has been no sign of this happening.
Today, though, Reuters is reporting that that’s about to change—but only because the judge hearing the challenges to the Clean Power Plan is forcing the agency to act.
The Clean Power Plan was the EPA’s policy response to its own finding that greenhouse gas emissions posed a danger to the public (formally, this is called an endangerment finding).
It had gone through the full federal rulemaking process, with a proposed plan, public feedback, a revised plan, and formal publishing in the Federal Register.
A number of states, however, challenged the rule, leaving it in limbo while the court system examined its legal foundation.
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