The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday rescinded a controversial climate change denial rule that would have forced universities across the country to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The rule, the largest of its kind in the country, had required schools to make a public pledge to reduce carbon emissions.
The department said in a statement the rule “has not worked well,” and it has now rescinded it.
The announcement comes after a meeting of the Education Advisory Council, a panel appointed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, on Tuesday.
Betsy DeVos said the rule would have “had a chilling effect on colleges and universities,” according to the Associated Press.
“We recognize that the rule was not widely supported by many in our community and that there was significant public disagreement about its merits,” the department said.
“While the rule did not create any new regulations, we have determined that it does not meet the standards required by the law to take effect.”
The decision comes after weeks of heated political rhetoric over the rule, which critics said would have made colleges and institutions less likely to provide climate-change-informed instruction to their students.
While the Trump administration has yet to decide whether to lift the rule entirely, Education Secretary Jeff Sessions has indicated that he may.
On Tuesday, Trump called for an “immediate end” to the rule that he said would lead to a “permanent reduction in the nation’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.”
He also said that it was “an embarrassment” for the administration to have “done this without consulting us first.”
“The rule is unconstitutional, and its only purpose was to impose costs on colleges to reduce greenhouse gas emission,” Trump said.
According to the AP, the rule could have had a chilling impact on universities that are already facing a severe climate change challenge, such as UC Berkeley, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State.