The Hill Op-Ed: Trump Administration's Clean Power Plan Repeal Proposal Is Illegal

William Buzbee

Oct. 30, 2017

This op-ed originally ran in The Hill.

The Trump administration's efforts to sidestep finalized regulations through stays or delays have so far met with judicial rejection in three straight decisions.

As these courts have concluded, such a deregulatory strategy violates settled law that administrative agencies are bound by their own finalized regulations until they undo them through a new full rulemaking process.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt last week published a proposal to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan that similarly is headed for rocky shoals. 

The plan, although stayed pending resolution of legal challenges, is a fully finalized regulation, setting in place a federal-state process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change from existing power plants.

Pruitt's proposed repeal has been criticized for its skewed cost-benefit analysis reversals and climate progress losses. But this repeal proposal suffers from two related illegalities, perhaps springing from Pruitt's political focus on pleasing favored constituencies regardless of what the law actually allows. An eventual legal loss might still be a political win.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill.

Read More by William Buzbee
CPR HOMEPAGE
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Jan. 21, 2022

Key Federal Agency Takes Steps to Protect Public Lands, Curb Climate Change

Jan. 13, 2022

Will the 30 x 30 Initiative Protect 30 Percent of Freshwater Resources by 2030?

Jan. 12, 2022

States Should Act to Protect People and Our Environment from Unregulated Chemical Tanks

Jan. 6, 2022

The Quagmire of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Dec. 20, 2021

Democracy, Rulemaking, and Outpourings of Comments

Dec. 9, 2021

CPR, Partners Call for Climate Justice Reforms to the Chemical Industry

Dec. 9, 2021

Memphis Commercial Appeal Op-Ed: Supreme Court Turns to Science to Resolve Groundwater Dispute Between Mississippi and Tennessee