US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday to sweep away his predecessor Barack Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” fulfilling a campaign promise to bolster domestic energy production.
The decree dubbed the “Energy Independence” order will undo Obama’s aggressive plan to cut emissions at US power plants.
It is also expected to rescind a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, reverse rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production, and reduce the weight of climate change in federal agencies’ assessments of new regulations.
“We’re going to go in a different direction,” a senior White House official said ahead of Tuesday’s order.
The previous administration devalued workers with their policies. We can protect the environment while providing people with work.
“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 said.
Environmentalists to Challenge Order
Trump campaigned on a promise to sweep aside green regulations that, he said, hurt the economy. He has also said he is looking to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.
Environmentalists have vowed to challenge the “Energy Independence” order in court.
They say the threat from coal emissions and other so-called dirty energy sources is not only real but threatening the lives of the most vulnerable in the US.
“These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American,” said billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, the head of activist group NextGen Climate.
Green group Earthjustice said it will fight the order both in and out of court.
“This order ignores the law and scientific reality,” said the group’s president, Trip Van Noppen.
Obama’s plan was the critical element in helping the US to meet its commitments to a global climate change accord agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in December 2015.
The Clean Power Plan would have required states to collectively cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.