European Union chastises U.S. for undermining climate-change fight
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 29, 2017,
Mar 29, 2017, 16:32
President Trump's executive order on American energy independence is a sweeping repudiation of Obama-era environmental initiatives, substituting a strategy of combating climate change through global cooperation for an America-first energy policy.
The executive order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to start an administrative review of both the Clean Power Plan and the rule that sets GHG emission reduction requirements for new, modified and reconstructed power plants, said Baker Botts.
Mr Trump's order also asks federal agencies to discount the cost of carbon in policy decisions and the weight of climate change considerations in infrastructure permitting, and it reverses rules limiting methane leakage from oil and gas facilities.
The order unravels former President Barack Obama's efforts to curb global warming, eliminating almost a dozen measures to boost domestic energy production, especially oil, natural gas and coal.
Robert E. Murray, who serves as chairman, president and CEO of Murray Energy Corp. and was in Washington to witness Trump sign his executive order Tuesday, estimates that when including overtime and benefits, the average compensation for one of his coal miners is $90,000 per year.
Environmental groups and progressive states are vowing to battle President Trump in court over his push to repeal federal climate protections, and experts are warning that the battles ahead will be slow and protracted. Trump's policy that seeks to void the former President's plan calls not just the country's economy in question, but also the global warming threat it poses.
"The executive order today is not going to bring back coal jobs", Goldfuss, who helped develop Obama's climate action plan, told Al Jazeera.
While Trump's actions may force Beijing into a leadership role, it will not be one for which it is unprepared.
Griffith said he hopes to see the plan dismantled.
Many Americans have already forgotten about the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama administration's signature effort to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's power plants.
Environmental activists were willing to sacrifice America's coal industry, and the affordable power it provides, even as coal demand continues to rise overseas.
And "even if the Trump administration wants to pretend for the time being that climate change is not a big deal, people all over the world think it is a really big deal", said Todd Stern, who led United States climate negotiators from 2009-2016. But the United States still imports about 7.9 million barrels of crude oil a day, nearly enough meet total oil demand in Japan and India combined.
This executive order does not withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement.
Trump's order on coal-fired power plants follows an executive order he signed last month mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution.
The CPP, frozen by the Supreme Court in 2016, would have shut down hundreds of coal plants, ended future construction and replaced coal power sources with renewable energy ones like solar farms.
Environmental groups hurled scorn on Trump's order, arguing it is risky and goes against the broader global trend toward cleaner energy technologies. Telling coal miners on hand what they dearly want to hear, despite the fact that worldwide demand for coal is falling and automation is putting more and more miners out of work. "You're going back to work".
Trump made clear that the United States had no intention of meeting the commitments that his predecessor had made to curb planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution, turning denials of climate change into national policy.
"Stopping this disastrous plan will preserve America's coal industry, expand our manufacturing renaissance that is reliant upon affordable energy and protect American families from unprecedented hikes in their electric bills", she said.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue praised the president for taking "bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority".
"In particular, I hope that this action will result in full repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which ravaged coal country and was temporarily blocked by the Supreme Court past year".