On Tuesday President Trump reversed climate change regulations authorized by President Obama because they are interfering with oil drilling and coal mining, especially Obama’s clean power plan that requires states to reduce carbon emissions.
The energy independence order removes the ban on coal leasing on federal lands and curbing methane emissions from oil and gas production. It also reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure planning.
Trump declared, “I am taking historic steps to lift restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations.”
Trump wants to revive the drilling and mining industries by cutting environmental measures.
“I cannot tell you how many jobs the executive order is going to create but I can tell you that it provides confidence in this administration’s commitment to the coal industry,” Kentucky Coal Association president Tyler White told Reuters.
Billionaire enviromental activist Tom Steyuer said, ‘These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American.”
Many organizations including Green group Earthjustice say that they will fight the order both in and out of court.
Almost all scientists believe that human use of oil and coal for energy is a major driver of climate change, causing rising sea levels, droughts, and more frequent violent storms.
Trump and several members of his administration doubt the reality of human-caused climate change. Trump promised during his campaign to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, declaring that it would harm U.S. business.
Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who helped broker the Paris accord, said that “trying to make fossil fuels remain competitive in the face of a booming clean renewable power sector, with the clean air and plentiful jobs it continues to generate, is going against the flow of economics.”
Trump directed the EPA to start a formal “review” process to reverse the clean power plan, introduced by Obama in 2014 but never implemented, partly because of the legal challenges of states controlled by the Republicans.
The plan required states to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 2030 to 32% below 2005 levels.
85% of U.S. states are on track to meet their targets, even though the rule has not been implemented.
Trump’s order removes the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management’s temporary ban on coal leasing on federal property introduced by Obama in 2016 as part of a review to study the program’s impact on climate change and to ensure that royalty revenues were fair to taxpayers.
Trump’s order also reverses rules limiting methane leakage from oil and gas operations.