(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order on energy Tuesday at the Environmental Protection Agency, undoing “a number” of Obama administration environmental regulations.
“Perhaps no single regulation threatens our miners, energy workers, and companies more than this crushing attack on American industry,” Trump said as he signed the executive order.
The order rescinds the Clean Power Plan and lifts a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands, which the Obama administration had enacted in January 2016. The Obama administration argued at the time that the program needed to be modernized to address climate change.
Twenty-five states and four state agencies challenged Obama’s Clean Power Plan in January 2016, calling it “the most far reaching and burdensome rule EPA has ever forced onto the states.” They claimed that the Obama administration was trying to shut down all electricity-generating plants that burn coal or oil as fuel in favor of wind and solar power.
“The president strongly believes that protecting the environment and promoting our economy are not mutually exclusive goals. This executive order will help to ensure that we have clean air and clean water without sacrificing economic growth and job creation,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
The executive order “directs all agencies to conduct a review of all regulation, rules, policies, and guidance documents that put up roadblocks to domestic energy production and identify the ones that are not either mandated by law or actually contributing to the public good,” Spicer said.
“It also rescinds a number of the previous administration’s actions that don’t reflect this administration’s priorities,” he said.
“Next, the order directs the EPA to take several actions to reflect this president’s environmental and economic goals, including a review of the new performance standards for coal-fired and natural-gas-fired power plants that amounted to a de facto ban on new coal plant production in the United States,” Spicer said.
Spicer called the executive order “great news for states like Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and others.”
“Finally, the order establishes a directive for agencies to use the best available science and economics in their regulatory analysis moving forward,” he said, adding that “for too long, the federal government has acted like a barrier to energy independence and innovation.”
“By reducing unnecessary regulatory obstacles, we’ll free up American energy companies to responsibly use our vast energy resources, protecting the environment while creating well-paying jobs throughout the country,” Spicer said.
“American electricity producers have already done an amazing job of adapting and utilizing new technologies to deliver clean power to the United States. Under President Trump, the federal government is going to acknowledge that progress and adjust its policies accordingly,” he said.
“That is what this is all about: bringing back our jobs, bringing back our dreams and making America wealthy again," the president said, flanked by coal miners who attended the signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon.