Trump tosses Obama's 'clean' energy plan, embraces coal

Trump moves to roll back Obama climate policies

Environmentalists say clean energy would create thousands of new jobs and fear that Trump's actions will put the a competitive disadvantage to other countries that are embracing it. Nothing President Donald Trump signed Tuesday is going to bring them back. He also said that his administration was going to "end the war on coal". His order opens up federal lands to new coal leases, which the Obama administration froze. Because most of those rules were finalized under Obama, the Trump would have to start from the beginning on a rulemaking process to dismantle those regulations. Their targets are stricter than the Obama power-plant rule Trump seeks to eliminate.

Trump has called global warming a "hoax" invented by the Chinese, and insisted he would protect clean air and water while boosting energy jobs.

Some experts warn the economic payoff from abandoning Obama's Clean Power Plan will be limited. The order also seeks to relax regulations on methane emissions and fracking, and to undo several policies that make climate change a factor in federal decisions.

During his time in office, Obama unveiled numerous executive orders and memoranda created to curb greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution, especially from coal and other energy industries.

The VanEck Vectors Coal exchange-traded fund (KOL) gained 0.94% on the news.

Obama's former chief environmental advisor described the executive order as "terrible" but said "it isn't the ball game". Annie Leonard of Greenpeace USA said it showed Trump is "just a fossil fuel industry stooge with a presidential pen".

There are a ton of other bad-for-climate things bundled in Trump's executive order.

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"These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American", Tom Steyer, the president of NexGen Climate, said in a statement.

"True leadership is a president who had the political courage to move aggressively on carbon polluters, while leaving office with the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record", he said. That policy change came in a guidance document from the White House Council on Environmental Quality last August, and can be immediately rescinded.

The same official was asked if the people working on these environmental regulations (or deregulations, as tomorrow's case may be) also all believe in climate change, and he said he hasn't talked to everyone in the White House.

The administration called for federal agencies to identify regulations that might impede the American energy industry. Trump's order undoes numerous climate change regulations put in place by Obama with the intent of placing job growth over regulations that attempt to undo the damages of climate change.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined law enforcement officials across the country in promising to oppose in court Trump actions that "ignore both the law and the critical importance of confronting the very real threat of climate change".

Trump has done little to assuage those fears, vowing to slash EPA funding by a third, appointing anti-climate litigator Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA and Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.



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