In rebuke to Trump, GE chief says 'climate change is real'

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. "China will continue to take steps to tackle climate change and fully honor its obligations". Those who deny climate change will probably feel vindicated, though without good reason.

But they believe efforts to revive fossil fuels ultimately will fail because many states and industries already have been embracing renewable energy and natural gas. Natural gas has become the main source of the nation's power according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and while it has environmental drawbacks in the form of fracking and methane release, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the combustion of natural gas releases 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (Co2) than does a new coal plant. These actions include reevaluating the Clean Power Plan, which is now on track to provide $54 billion in climate and health benefits each year, prevent thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks in children, reduce electricity bills for homes and businesses, and create thousands of good-paying jobs. "It's the beginning of relief from regulations that have intentionally disadvantaged the coal industry and our electric-energy generation".

Observers thought Mr Trump's order would be seen as a sign that the U.S. is retreating from global climate leadership.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing that White House aides "are now reviewing issues related to the agreement". It's a frontal assault on all the Obama-era regulations aimed at curbing climate change. "Clean coal" may come to fruition someday but can not be used as an argument today for the burning of traditional coal.

It also directs the Attorney General to seek appropriate relief from the courts over pending litigation related to the Clean Power Plan as well as lifts the ban on federal leasing for coal production.

In response to the president's executive order, Dave Adkisson, Kentucky Chamber President and CEO, said, "We applaud the president's commitment to supporting domestic energy production and ensuring affordable energy costs". "While the president is taking big splashy action, he is actually doomed to fail". The Trump administration is arguing that the court shouldn't waste resources deciding the case, when the EPA plans to revise or undo the rule anyway.

"Where coal can compete, coal should compete, but I think it's going to be a challenging role for them", he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday.

As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Booker has stood up for cleaner, healthier communities.

China and the European Union need to show joint leadership on climate change and can not expect the "same leadership" from the USA under the Trump administration, European climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete says.

  • Zachary Reyes