Former EPA Administrator opposed to changing environmental regulations on power plants

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – Changing environmental regulations and overturning Obama-era practices are just some of the changes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to make.

Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner says America needs the Clean Power Plan.

“The Clean Power Plan is all about reducing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants,” Browner said.

Pruitt says it is too restrictive on businesses.

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp agrees saying it was hurting the coal industry and taking away jobs.

“Clean power plan was wrongly decided in the first place,” Sen. Heitkamp said. “When you’re a utility and you have to plan which resource you’re going to utilize for development or for generation of electricity.  You have uncertainty, embedded with competitive pressures, the decision has been to change fuels.”

Browner argues jobs in the coal industry are declining for different reasons.

“What’s happening in these industries is not just environmental regulations, it’s just simple market dynamics.  People are looking for the cleaner and cheaper ways to make electricity.”

Some utility companies, states, cities, and private businesses say they will continue to take steps toward a cleaner more efficient energy whether or not they have to meet regulations established by the Clean Power Plan.

Browner says the cost of getting rid of the Clean Power Plan standards is too high.

“What he wants to do is take away the rights of individual citizens to make sure our environmental laws are enforced,” Browner said.

She says it won’t be easy to ignore lawsuits that claim the EPA isn’t doing its job.

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