Scott Pruitt, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, has signed a measure to repeal President Barack Obama’s policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. This means a large push back in favor of coal, which could save the nation money but some argue will have wildly negative impacts on the environment. This also means we’ll see tax incentives on alternative forms of power like wind and solar disappear, though it will take years for that to actually take place.
How Does it Impact Emissions?
Some states are already opting to shift to natural gas, wind, and solar, including California and New York. These states are moving ahead of the repealed policy anyway and are developing their own climate policies. Luckily, an analysis by research firm the Rhodium Group estimates that electricity emissions in the U.S. are still on track to fall 27 to 35 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030, which is around what the Clean Power Plan would have done as well. Nonetheless, the author of the analysis, John Larsen, estimates that “as many as 21 states would have had to make deeper reductions than they are currently expected to do,” as reported by The New York Times, and emissions would have likely fallen even further than original estimates.
These are just the initial steps. The repeal must go through a formal public-comment period which will take months alone, and the EPA also has to come up with a replacement rule. It may take until the 2020 election for anything to be finalized, a fact that some fear while others encourage, as buying time could result in even more strict climate regulations. In coming years, we could see huge impacts on tax benefits from clean energy alternatives as well.
Invest in Solar Today
Because those tax incentives could disappear in the future, now is the time to take advantage of them and invest in solar energy. If you’re worried about the Clean Power Plan being repealed because of environmental concerns, it’s also critical that you play a part in making the United States more reliant on clean energy. That could come in the form of contacting your local politicians or, on a personal level, investing in solar energy yourself.
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