The Trump administration is taking the first step Tuesday toward repealing President Obama's signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan. Let's reality check two big overarching claims about this regulation, including one EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt made Monday.

Expand chart
Data: EIA; Note: 2017 is a 12-month rolling total through June; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Claim: The rule would upend the electricity industry.

Reality: It would moderately accelerate a trend already underway in the power industry to shift away from coal toward cleaner sources of energy, like natural gas, wind and solar.

The above chart by Axios graphics reporter Andrew Witherspoon shows that the power-plant sector is already well on its way to meeting the Environmental Protection Agency requirements for a nationwide average emissions reduction of 32% by 2030 based on 2005 levels. (Shoutout to Bloomberg for creating a similar chart last week and inspiring Axios). Even Obama administration lawyers, defending it in court last September, described the rule as "incremental" and achieving a "moderate degree" of carbon reduction.

Yes, but: The rule itself would have prompted two big changes, experts say:

  1. Control would shift more to governor's offices and away from state public utility commissioners, which oversee most utility investments, according to Travis Kavulla, a commissioner of the Montana Public Service Commission that regulates utilities and other services in that state. The EPA rule would have required governors to submit compliance plans.
  2. The rule would have created a framework to possibly ratchet up emission cut requirements long into the future, according to analysis released Monday by Rhodium Group.

Claim: The rule would eventually compel power plants to use 100% renewables, as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday at an event in Kentucky when he announced he would repeal the rule.

Reality: Not even close. Coal would still account for 27% of the nation's electricity by 2030 (compared to 30% today), according to EPA's estimate (page 135) at the time the Obama administration issued the rule. Renewables would account for 20% under the rule by 2030, compared to 15% today.

Yes, but: As I reported in my latest Harder Line column, every little bit of the electricity market matters to companies' bottom lines when the pie isn't growing.

Go deeper

Houston public health system CEO says coronavirus situation is "dire"

Houston's coronavirus situation is "dire, and it's getting worse, seems like, every day," Harris Health System CEO and President Dr. Esmail Porsa said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The big picture: Porsa said the region is seeing numbers related to the spread of the virus that are "disproportionately higher than anything we have experienced in the past." He noted that Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital's ICU is at 113% capacity, and 75% of its beds are coronavirus patients.

Fund managers start to board the stock bandwagon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Asset managers at major U.S. investment firms are starting to get bullish with their clients, encouraging stock buying and trying not to get left behind right as the metrics on tech stocks rise back to highs not seen since the dot-com crash of 2000.

What's happening: Appetite for stocks is starting to return, but slowly as institutional money managers were overwhelmingly sitting on the sidelines in cash during April and May.

2 hours ago - World

China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.