Accuracy in Media

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday the Trump administration planned to take formal steps to repeal a key environmental regulation that was designed to put coal plants out of business. Upon reporting, though, the mainstream media’s response was not about the shortcomings of the plan itself.

It was not about the 28 states’ attorneys general who have sued to block it or the judicial ruling that they were likely to prevail and thus implementation would be halted. It was not about the devastation in coal country caused by the previous administration’s attempts to put it out of business. And it certainly was not about how the U.S. would otherwise come up with the 40 percent of our electricity that coal fuels.

Instead, it focused on President Trump erasing the legacy of President Obama – of Trump going through the book and eliminating every regulation Obama implemented solely to excise his name from the Federal Register.

“The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, setting up a bitter fight over the future of America’s efforts to tackle global warming,” the New York Times reported.

USA Today wrote that carbon emissions lead to significant global warming. “The Trump administration’s move to start dismantling the Clean Power Plan rule intended to curb carbon emissions that contribute to global warming will not be a quick process,” it wrote. Pruitt’s statement “rolling back the Obama-era rule is simply the first of a number of steps the agency will have to take.”

“The Trump administration’s move to start dismantling the Clean Power Plan rule intended to curb carbon emissions that contribute to global warming will not be a quick process,” it wrote. Pruitt’s statement “rolling back the Obama-era rule is simply the first of a number of steps the agency will have to take.”

At issue in the debate over climate change is how much carbon has to do with climate. Models that gave increased carbon in the air an outsized impact on weather changes – such as serial data torturer Michael Mann’s infamous hockey stick – have not stood the test of time.

CNN thought it was so important readers know this was an Obama regulation it mentioned it twice. “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his agency’s plan to withdraw the Clean Power plan, the sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions,” it wrote. “While speaking in Kentucky at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pruitt said he will sign the proposed rule repealing Obama’s plan Tuesday.”

“Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his agency’s plan to withdraw the Clean Power plan, the sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions,” it wrote. “While speaking in Kentucky at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pruitt said he will sign the proposed rule repealing Obama’s plan Tuesday.”

The New York Times could not let it go.

“The repeal proposal, which will be filed in the Federal Register on Tuesday, fulfills a promise President Trump made to eradicate his predecessor’s environmental legacy.”

Trump promised to remove or repeal costly regulations and said eliminating this regulation would save American businesses $33 billion. It also rejected the Obama figures on asthma deaths and attacks.

Under the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. would meet its targets under the Paris climate accord – the regulation was central to us being able to sign – by setting goals for each state based on what is feasible and cost-effective.

Previously, it had set emissions targets for individual plants in which the plants themselves could take steps to meet the targets at their own facilities. Under the Clean Power Plan, the target could be met statewide by curbing coal power and replacing it with alternative energy, such as wind. Courts already have ruled power companies could not be forced to replace coal with wind power in this way. The attorneys general whose injunction now keeps the rule in abeyance are suing on grounds the Clean Air Act does not authorize establishing statewide emissions limits.

This is just part of the Trump administration’s rejection of climate change. It has scrubbed it from the EPA and other government websites, withdrawn the country from the Paris climate accord and its U.N. delegation from a variety of panels that deal with the issue.

The New York Times quotes Jody Freeman, director of the environmental law program at Harvard Law, as saying the action shows the Trump administration is putting its thumb on the scale in favor of fossil fuels.

“You see a pretty powerful message,” she said. “Disavow any effort to control greenhouse gases in the power sector, and instead, intervene in the market to promote coal. It’s a wow.”





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