Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was also present at the event and said that withdrawal from the Clean Power Plan would relax burdens that environmental regulations impose on the economy.
The EPA has not decided whether it will replace the Clean Power Plan, according to a draft of the proposal seen by Reuters on Friday, or whether or when it will propose a new rule to regulate emissions from existing power plants.
The plan was also an integral part of the commitment USA officials made as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, for which some 200 countries committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and from which President Trump has said he plans to withdraw. Previous efforts have included the delay or roll back of rules limiting levels of toxic pollution in smokestack emissions, and wastewater discharges from coal-burning power plants.
Power companies want to get as much electricity as possible from every pound of coal, so they already have an incentive to keep efficiency high, said Jeff Holmstead, a former assistant EPA administrator now at Bracewell LLP.More news: Theresa May will urge European Union to be flexible over Brexit talks
"Under the interpretation proposed in this notice, the CPP (Clean Power Plan) exceeds the EPA's statutory authority and would be repealed", wrote a copy of the the leaked proposal obtained by the USA media. The past administration was unapologetic. And they are still pushing the Trump administration to be creative now. It was put on hold by the Supreme Court in 2016 to allow litigation against it to proceed.
The planned repeal of the Clean Power Plan has sparked outrage among environmental groups.
"The EPA proposes to determine that the CPP is not within Congress's grant of authority to the agency under the governing statute".
CNN obtained a copy of the leaked proposal to repeal the milestone Clean Power Plan, the outcome of President Donald Trump's executive orders calling for the review of the plan and questions the legality of the original rule.
"By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration will throw out an affordable, flexible, and life-saving plan to cut unsafe carbon pollution from power plants, giving the fossil fuel industry a free pass to keep polluting our air while our families pay the price", Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said today in a statement.
Though limited to its participating states, the latest RGGI agreement will go further than the Clean Power Plan in this region.