Trump Signs Executive Order Rolling Back Obama’s Climate Policies: Who Benefits The Most?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Mar 28, 2017

As discussed earlier, on Tuesday afternoon Donald Trump signed an executive order undoing most of Obama-era climate change regulations that his administration says is hobbling oil drillers and coal miners, a move environmental groups have vowed to take to court. The decree’s main target is former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan that required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants – a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

The so-called “Energy Independence” order also reverses a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production, and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions.

Trump signed the order in a ceremony at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency responsible for many of the major policies being targeted. He was flanked by coal miners — whom EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joked “might never have been to the EPA before” — as well as cabinet officials and Vice President Mike Pence, who celebrated the executive order as a repudiation of the Obama administration’s climate agenda.

“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Trump said, using a term coined by the industry and its supporters to describe government regulations. “I am taking an historic step to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.”

Trump is pitching the order primarily as a move to increase the nation’s energy independence, with the added effect of increasing jobs in affected sectors and related industries. The president said the order fulfills a promise made to coal miners during his presidential campaign. He recounted a trip to West Virginia when he met with miners who told him they wanted to continue working in the industry despite a downturn in employment.

“I said, if that’s what you want to do, that’s what you’re doing to do,” Trump said. “The miners told me about the attacks on their jobs and their livelihoods. … I made them this promise: we will put our miners back to work.”

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