WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump signed on Tuesday an executive order to reverse a wealth of energy regulations put in place by his predecessor, former president Barack Obama.
Surrounded by coal miners at EPA headquarters, Trump signed an order that called for the immediate review of the Clean Power Plan, which inhibits greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
“My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth. We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country,” president Trump said before signing the order.
The president called the Obama regulations a “crushing attack” on coal workers and promised to nix the program’s “job-killing regulations.”
“We’re going to have safety, we’re going to have clean water, we’re going to have clean air, but so many [regulations] are unnecessary, so many are job-killing,” he said.
In addition to reversing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump lifted a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.
The move is the just the first step in a new direction on climate policy, says a senior administration official.
“It’s an issue that deserves attention, but I think the president has been clear he’s not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the U.S. economy at risk,” a White House spokesperson told reporters during a briefing on Monday.
Critics of Trump’s plan say the move will hamper efforts to clean up the environment. In response to Tuesday’s executive order former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy accused the Trump administration of wanting “us to travel back to when smokestacks damaged our health and polluted our air, instead of taking every opportunity to support clean jobs of the future.”
Most industry experts, however, were pleased. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue praised Trump for taking “bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority.”
“Together we are going to start a new energy revolution,” the president told the group of cheering coal miners. “One that celebrates American production on American soil.”