Newswise — EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University experts on environmental law, renewable energy development and energy economics/electric utility regulation are available to comment on the Trump administration’s announcement on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Obama’s signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan.

Klaus Weber is an associate professor of management and organizations in the Kellogg School of Management. His research and teaching focuses on corporate and private sustainability development and the impact of environmentalism on technology, products and markets. He recently appeared on an Illinois Public Media radio show to discuss the state of the solar industry in Illinois. 

“This is not about the EPA overreaching its mandate, it is simply an energy policy reversal,” he said. “The main domestic effects are to increase regulatory uncertainty for renewable energy. Overall, this will slow but not stop the United States’ inevitable transition to low carbon energy sources.

“The many states and companies committed to reducing carbon emissions will not be affected much —the main effect is to create license for the laggards to wait longer. This move will not make coal more competitive in the long run or create or save jobs, as job creation through a switch to renewable energy would be more substantial.”

Weber can be reached at 773-732-5095 and [email protected]. He is unavailable available today (Tuesday) between 3 and 6 p.m.  

Nancy Loeb is director of the Environmental Advocacy Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. An expert on environmental law and policy, she says legal challenges to the repeal by several state attorneys general and environmental groups could take months or years. She can explain the regulatory process to follow the announcement as well as the legal underpinning for the Clean Power Plan, the “endangerment finding.”

Loeb notes that industry groups are advocating for a “more modest” replacement plan to limit future legal challenges and bring certainty to the regulatory process.

“Under current law, EPA has to do something. Repeal without replacement invites a challenge on that basis alone,” she said. “A Trump administration-crafted replacement would undoubtedly be more modest than regulations a future Democratic administration might pass and gives some comfort to industry -- although that may not be realistic. Halfhearted measures will be challenged in court and a future Democratic administration will again try to broaden climate regulation.”

Loeb can be reached at 773-569-6050 or [email protected]. She is only available for phone interviews.

Mar Reguant is an associate professor of economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on energy economics, with an emphasis on pollution from the electricity sector and electric utility regulation.

She can be reached at 847-491-8221 or [email protected].