President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order rolling back Obama administration’s rules that aimed at curbing climate change.
President Trump said that the new order would put an end to the “job-killing regulations” and the “war on coal.”
The Energy Independence Executive order boosts fossils fuels and suspends more than a dozen measures introduced by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Environmentalists have condemned the move, while business groups have praised the latest order of the administration.
While signing the order, the president was flanked by coal miners. He said:
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. With today’s executive action I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.”
Mr. Trump vowed during his election campaign to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Deal signed in December 2015.
What Changes Would the New Order Bring?
President Obama had a very different approach to the environment than his successor. The former president believed that climate change is “real and cannot be ignored.”
One of the initiatives that has now been revoked is the Clean Power Plan that required states to slash carbon emissions, to meet U.S. commitments under the Paris agreement.
The regulations were unpopular in Republican-run states and faced legal challenges, especially from businesses that rely on burning oil, gas, and coal.
The Supreme Court temporarily halted the plan last year; the challenges are still being heard.
The Trump administration claim that scrapping the plan would put American people to work and reduce dependence on imported fuel.
The administration says that the president will be “moving forward on energy production in the U.S.”
“The previous administration devalued workers with their policies. We can protect the environment while providing people with work.”
Will U.S. Honor Its Commitments under Paris Accord?
Mr. Trump had argued during his campaign that the Paris deal was unfair to the Americans.
In order to combat rising global temperature, the deal commits governments to reduce carbons emissions and move their economies away from fossil fuels.
Mr. Trump has even called climate change “a Chinese hoax” although he has now softened his stance on climate change saying there is “some connection” between climate change and human activity.
Reuters quoted Tom Stever, billionaire environmental activist, as saying:
“These actions are an assault on American values, and they endanger the health, safety, and prosperity of every American.”
Trip Van Noppen, the President of Earthjustice, a green group, said his organization would challenge the order in and outside the court, as the order “ignores the law and scientific reality.”