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Energy & Environment

Some Praise, Others Decry Climate Policy Order

The Sierra Club says it’s confident renewables will continue to grow in Texas, despite the administration’s pro-fossil fuels stance.


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Florian Martin
NRG’s WA Parish coal power plant

The move to roll back the Clean Power Plan and other climate policies is being welcomed by the fossil fuel industry. That's even as industry leaders recently acknowledged at a Houston conference that their companies' climate impact is something that should be addressed.

Chrissy Mann with the environmental group the Sierra Club says it's "shortsighted" to pull back regulations that target big polluters. She cites NRG's coal plant southwest of Houston.

"Even with their quite frankly top-of-the-line pollution controls for nitrogen oxide, they're still the biggest contributor by far of that pollution to the Houston area,” she says.

Rice University's Charles McConnell was an assistant energy secretary in the Obama Administration, but he says he's "delighted" with the order.

"The Clean Power Plan was a dumb thing to do,” he says.

McConnell argues the plan would've had minimal tangible environmental benefits, describing it as unfair government overreach. But since climate change is real, he says the White House shouldn't just ignore it, and shouldn't regulate to pick winners and losers.

"This administration has to make a commitment to do progressive technology development for all forms of energy."

The Sierra Club says it's confident renewables will continue to grow in Texas, despite the administration's pro-fossil fuels stance.