US President Trump signs order to roll back Obama's climate policies

President Donald Trump signed orders this week to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, keeping a campaign promise to support the coal industry and calling into question US support for an worldwide deal to fight global warming.

The president was flanked by coal workers and industry figures and defenders, such as West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Ohio-based coal operator Bob Murray, filled the room during the signing ceremony.

The Energy Independence Executive order, which rolls back Obama-era rules and policies aimed at curbing climate change, directs regulatory agencies to review the existing actions that affect USA energy production.

"With today's executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations".

We have been pursuing a fantasyland energy policy for years.

The mayors included some statistics to back up their statement, saying one in 50 American jobs are in the solar sector, which they said is more than employment in oil, gas, and coal extraction put together.

Trump has also threatened to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, putting him at odds with China's president Xi Jinping who has said the "hard-won" deal should remain in force. It could take years - and the ability to turn back court challenges expected from environmental groups - to actually change US laws. "It's hard to predict total numbers, but it matters a lot when you can take the regulatory overhang out of the way".

"That's exactly what signal this executive order on energy independence is sending".

This executive order is just another example of Trump's ignorance, his determination to erase every positive thing of Obama's legacy and to impose his will, no matter the consequences to others-and in this case to the world.

The miners "told me about the efforts to shut down their mines, their communities and their very way of life". "He can't bring them back". A replacement for the Clean Power Plan would have to work its way through a vetting and approval process and is expected to come under legal fire from environmental advocates and individual states.

Trump's order initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

Smith, sharing similar sentiments with Dayton, called the rolling back of the Clean Power Plan a "mistake". Natural gas production has drastically reduced USA carbon emissions in recent years, largely due to power plants switching from burning coal to natural gas.

Smith said renewable, clean energy sources like solar and wind are increasingly cost-competitive. Climate change has been described as the greatest market failure in history. So the most significant and immediate impact of Trump's order is the message it sends to the rest of the world: that the United States doesn't care about climate change and its impacts.

  • Carolyn Briggs