The Clean Power Plan directed power plants to reduce carbon pollution emissions by a third below 2005 levels by 2030.
"The war on coal is over", he told a crowd in Hazard, Kentucky, on Monday.
While speaking in Kentucky at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pruitt said he will sign the proposed rule repealing Obama's plan Tuesday.
"When you think about what that rule meant, that rule really was about picking winners and losers". "The past administration [.] was using every bit of power, every bit of authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country".
"Any replacement rule that the Trump administration proposes will be done carefully and properly within the confines of the law", EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said. "And that's wrong", he said in remarks aired by Fox News. Soon after it was introduced, a number of states challenged the legality of the plan and 29 went so far as to petition the Supreme Court to halt its implementation until a court could review it. Supporters of the Clean Power Plan will be looking for ways to challenge the Trump administration's moves in court. Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma's attorney general and joined a lawsuit challenging the carbon limits.
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President Donald Trump, who made repealing regulations a centerpiece of his campaign, issued an executive order in March to block the Clean Power Plan.
"The Clean Power Plan achieved a thoughtful, balanced approach that gave companies and states considerable flexibility on how best to pursue that goal", said Melissa Lavinson, vice president of federal affairs and policy for PG&E's Pacific Gas and Electric utility.
Obama enacted the plan to cap pollution from power plants. Almost 200 countries have committed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
"By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump Administration will throw out an affordable, flexible, and life-saving plan to cut risky 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.
Pruit framed the Clean Power Plan - a rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants - as an overstepping of federal authority that unfairly targeted power plants and the waning coal industry.