Is the Sun Setting on Clean Energy? Repeal of the Clean Power Plan: A “Solar” Impact


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is slated to formally start the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan, which would potentially be a step back when it comes to sources such as solar energy. Many strides have been made in relation to solar power and renewable resources over the years, but Pruitt’s thought process could take us in a possibly damaging direction when it comes to solar. Fortunately, there are many who will be fighting back. Recent solar news continues to indicate the importance of focusing on solar energy, and anything which takes away from the understanding of how substantial solar energy and solar power are for our planet tends to draw a great deal of attention. Strategies in place such as the Clean Power Plan can truly make a difference for the planet – as mentioned in the latest solar news, we see how the Clean Power Plan works to make a positive change when it comes to pollution and the use of solar energy – solar systems, solar thermal for water and space heating, and solar power. Solar is the direction our country needs to go in. Going solar is clearly a step forward as is currently being demonstrated with efficacious solar projects.  

What is the Clean Power Plan? 

 The Clean Power Plan is the foremost federal program intended to lessen carbon pollution which comes from certain emitters, for example, power plants. It is a plan which comprehends the implication of solar for our planet. A large amount of its focus is on solar energy and how solar energy works to reduce emissions.  

 As per the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, worked on August 3, 2015 to finalize standards (better known as the Clean Power Plan) to lessen carbon emissions from power plants. In the past, power plants had the ability to dump carbon pollution in unlimited quantities into the atmosphere. This palpable absence of rules was incredibly dangerous, and led to large emissions of carbon dioxide, which of course contributes negatively to global warming. The Clean Power Plan was developed under an act by Congress to ensure the EPA takes the necessary steps to lessen air pollution – an act called the Clean Air Act. The Clean Power Plan discusses the utilization of solar energy or clean energy. Solar energy, as mentioned, can work to reduce emissions and better protect the atmosphere. 

 The Clean Power Plan benefits the United States because it demonstrates an understanding of how much of a threat climate change truly is. Climate change cost the United States economy roughly $100 billion in 2012 alone because of tropical storms, wildfires and drought as per Solar Nation, an organization which understands how utilizing solar energy can make a difference. How are the aforementioned major disasters related to climate change? The short answer is that they are all influenced by global warming which is a result of carbon pollution.  

The Clean Power Plan expects to be able to prevent roughly 870 million tons of pollutants from making their way into the atmosphere by the year 2030. Solar energy plays a significant role when it comes to this plan because of one of the primary goals, which is to provide incentives for taking advantage of solar power from the federal government, utility companies and state governments.  

In February of 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court made the decision to place the plan on hold. The intention was to find out the results of legal challenges facing the strategy.  

 “Rolling Back the Clean Power Plan”  

 According to The New York Times, during an event which took place in Kentucky, Scott Pruitt relayed to attendees his intention to sign a proposed rule to “roll back the Clean Power Plan.” 

 His statement indicates a likely lack of appreciation regarding the benefits of solar energy. A significant part of the Clean Power Plan includes goals regarding solar energy, of course. It is understood that clean power and improvement go hand in hand with renewable sources and energy efficiency – read: solar energy.  

 One of the individuals planning on fighting back when it comes to Scott Pruitt’s intentions is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He is a member of a coalition of states and localities which works to defend the Clean Power Plan in federal court. He stated that he intends to sue the EPA if needed in order to stop the repeal.  

 Schneiderman stated, “By seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan — especially without any credible commitment to replacing it — the Trump Administration’s campaign of climate change denial continues, once again putting industry special interests ahead of New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ safety, health, and the environment.”  

 He added, “Fuel-burning power plants are one of our nation’s largest sources of climate change pollution, and common-sense science — and the law — dictate that EPA take action to cut these emissions. The Trump Administration’s persistent and indefensible denial of climate change — and their continued assault on actions essential to stemming its increasing devastation — is reprehensible, and I will use every available legal tool to fight their dangerous agenda.” 

 CLF Will Stand For The Clean Power Plan 

 The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has stated their intention to keep defending the Clean Power Plan. This is an organization which recognizes the importance of using clean energy: solar energy, wind power, solar power and renewable resources – principally, it comprehends the significance of solar. Greg Cunningham, Program Director for The Conservation Law Foundation’s Clean Energy and Climate program, stated that the repeal of the Clean Power Plan “is another shot across the bow in the Trump Administration’s crusade to unravel President Obama’s environmental legacy. For an administration where ‘clean’ is a dirty word, repealing this critical plan is as unsurprising as it is outrageous. Once again, this president is on the wrong side of history.” 

 An Attack on Wind and Solar Tax Credits 

 As per Pruitt, his goal is to do away with federal wind and solar tax credits because he believes that they prevent utility companies from making the right decisions in regards to power generation. Unfortunately, doing away with solar tax credits can make it less likely for more people to go solar due to initial affordability. Keeping solar enticing is important – tax credits can make a major difference.  

 Here is how the Director of Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, Jodie Van Horn responded: “[Pruitt] is once again trying to stack the deck to prop up his dirty fossil fuel accomplices. For nine months, he’s been rigging the system to help corporate polluters and this proposal is more of the same. Despite what Scott Pruitt or anyone in this administration may do to try to slow the growth of wind and solar, clean energy continues to flourish across the country. Nearly 50 U.S. cities have now committed to be powered entirely with clean energy as more and more communities see the tangible, local benefits of clean and renewable sources of energy.” 

 Slowing the growth of clean energy or preventing persons from wanting to or being able to take advantage of solar energy is dangerous. It is possible to power a city using solar energy or clean energy. It is possible to power a home using solar energy. The repeal of the Clean Power Plan is one which will only potentially set the United States back. Our country needs to head in the direction of solar energy for the sake of the planet and all of the people living here. Going solar really is the way of the future. As per Jodie Van Horn, solar is continuing to flourish regardless of other viewpoints, and people continue to recognize the benefits of going solar.  

Luckily, as per The Hill, nineteen Democratic senators provided a letter to Scott Pruitt questioning his logic behind the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. They wrote, “Denying the science and fabricating the math may satisfy the agency’s paperwork requirements, but doing so will not satisfy the requirements of the law, nor will it slow the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, the inexorable rise in sea levels, or the other dire effects of global warming that our planet is already experiencing.” 

It is important to bear in mind that preventing the growth and development of solar projects using solar energy is risky. We know through effective solar projects that it is in fact possible to power a city utilizing renewable sources such as solar energy. Consequently, a home can be powered using solar energy. Fundamentally, people can live comfortably taking advantage of solar. Repealing the Clean Power Plan will place our country in the wrong direction. We need to recognize the benefits of solar energy and continue to promote the use of solar energy. Our country does, in fact, need to “go solar”. Solar news stays on top of the benefits of going solar, and makes up-to-the-minute developments available to those who are interested. We should all stay on top of the latest in solar news to follow the current happenings with regards to solar.  

The repeal of the Clean Power Plan will certainly have a solar impact.  




Photo Source: alohaspirit/iStock  

Previous articleTesla Tiny House – Solar Energy Potential
Next articleHow to Mainstream Renewable Energy: Time to Go Solar
Carissa lives in Florida with her dachshund and enjoys traveling all over the country. She has been a writer for more than a decade, previously having worked for the Walt Disney Company. Her interests include exploring National Parks, hiking, crafting and cooking.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here