Washington, March 29: The United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to roll back or scrap climate change regulations which were passed by former President Barack Obama.
However, President Trump kept his campaign promise of rolling back climate change regulations which were later slammed as "irresponsible" and "spiteful assault" by the Opposition and environmental groups. President Trump, after signing the order yesterday said that the executive action is a historic step to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.
The President said that this decision is the latest in the series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth. The executive order directs all agencies to conduct a review of all regulations, rules, policies and guidance documents that put up roadblocks to domestic energy production.
Notably, the executive order seeks to suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels. As part of the roll-back, Trump will initiate a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
However, the regulation, which was the former president’s signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas. Therefore, several environmental groups are planning to fight Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda in court.
In addition to pulling back from the Clean Power Plan, the administration will also lift a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change.
Trump accused his predecessor of waging a "war on coal" and boasted in a speech to Congress that he has made "a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations," including some that threaten "the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners."
The order will also chip away at other regulations, including scrapping language on the "social cost" of greenhouse gasses. It will initiate a review of efforts to reduce the emission of methane in oil and natural gas production as well as a Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule, to determine whether those reflect the president's policy priorities.
It will also rescind Obama’s executive orders and memoranda, including one that addressed climate change and national security and one that sought to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change. The administration is still in discussion about whether it intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
However, Trump's order could make it more difficult, though not impossible, for the U.S. to achieve its carbon reduction goals. The president's promises to boost coal jobs run counter to market forces, such as U.S. utilities converting coal-fired power plants to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas.