A leading anti-fossil fuel group is vowing to take the fight over the Clean Power Plan to the streets, as well as the courts, after Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his plan to repeal the restrictions on coal-fueled power plants on Tuesday.
"Slashing climate policy is par for the course in the Trump administration, but we won't let it go unchallenged," said May Boeve, executive director of the group 350.org. "This decision will be fought in the courts and in the streets."
Pruitt announced Monday that he would sign a proposed rule on Tuesday that would repeal the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's climate change agenda. The Clean Power Plan directed states to cut greenhouse gas emission a third by 2030. Pruitt made the announcement while in the coal state of Kentucky with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, who hails from the state.
The group 350.org, founded by environmentalist Bill McKibben, was active during last year's presidential campaign in opposing candidates who did not support policies that opposed fossil fuel development in favor of increasing wind and solar energy to become 100 percent of the nation's energy production. The group was one of the creators of the "Keep it in the Ground" movement opposing all fossil fuel development.
The group was also involved in the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, which became known for its violent clashes with police.
"Rolling back the Clean Power Plan has been part of Pruitt's agenda since well before he was approved to run the EPA," Boeve said. "It will be up to people all across the country to do what the White House won't: shut down polluting fossil fuel projects and move our communities to 100 percent renewable energy for all.
"Now is the time for communities to push for policies that move us toward clean energy while stopping the fossil fuel industry's expansion and pressure local officials to support them. As Trump tries to quash climate action from the top down, we're continuing to fight back from the ground up."
Other climate change activists also came out in opposition to Pruitt's announcement.
The Natural Resources Defense Council tweeted, "If the Clean Power Plan is repealed, we'll take the EPA to court."
The Climate Reality Project, founded by former Vice President Al Gore, said the Trump administration is choosing to roll back the Clean Power Plan at a time when major hurricanes have made the "climate crisis so painfully clear," said Ken Berlin, the group's president and CEO.
"The Trump administration's proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan is reckless and shortsighted," Berlin added. "Even as devastating hurricanes have made the reality of the climate crisis so painfully clear, this administration continues to prioritize the interests of the fossil fuel industry over the American people's right to clean air and a safe climate."