AUSTIN, Texas - On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt repealed the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.
“The EPA is no longer in the business of picking winners or losers," Pruitt said.
Those who opposed the clean power plan say it gave an unfair advantage to clean energy. Even though the plan was never technically implemented, repealing it has some cheering.
"Here in Texas if the EPA had implemented the clean power plan, it would have forced nearly half of the existing coal fired power plants to close," said Robert Henneke of the right-leaning Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Coal power plants in Texas are already shutting down. The Monticello power plant, just east of Dallas, recently gave word that it would be closing in January.
But research fellow Joshua Rhodes at the University of Texas Energy Institute said this latest move won't save coal.
"We may see some delays in some retirements of some plants, but in general the trend is still going down to where we're moving more towards gas and renewables and away from coal," Rhodes said.
Rhodes says natural gas is already cheaper than coal, and the price of renewable energy is dropping fast.
"They just keep going down,” Rhodes said.
Meanwhile in cities like Austin, forty percent of the city’s power already comes from solar and other renewables.
"The only thing that will change our story is if the people of Austin say suddenly, 'no, we don't care about our impact on the world,'” said Austin Energy’s Robert Cullick. “And I just don't see that happening."