President Donald J. Trump will sign an executive order at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unraveling Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. EPA head Scott Pruitt said the president is shifting back to being “a pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment,” rather than an overzealous radical environmental president.
“The previous administration’s Clean Power Plan wasn’t really about clean power, it was about picking winners and losers,” Mr. Pruitt said.
The executive order entitled “Energy Independence” will reverse U.S. commitments agreed to in a global climate change accord involving nearly 200 countries in Paris in December 2015. A whistleblower recently came forward with damning evidence claiming the authors of the study used to justify the major accord was intentionally fudged to influence countries before the climate conference.
Mr. Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was sold as a sweeping plan to curb global warming, but Mr. Pruitt said it targeted coal-fired power plants and increased costs.
The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies.
Supporters of the Mr. Obama’s plan claimed it would spur thousands of clean-energy jobs, but it has not.
In February, President Trump also signed House Joint Resolution 38 ending the Stream Protection Rule, another Obama administration policy that was decimating workers in the coal industry. Mr. Obama promised in 2008 that he would do just that and he made good on that campaign promise.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” he said during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board.
Coal production reached its peak in 2008. But a 2015 study found the U.S. coal industry lost 50,000 jobs from 2008 to 2012, during Obama’s first term. By September 2016, America had 83,000 fewer coal miners employed. By the end of Obama’s presidency, 600 coal mines had closed.
President Trump will sign the order alongside Mr. Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday afternoon.
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