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Trump signs executive order rescinding climate change policies

EPA administration says order is intended to make country both pro-energy and pro-environment.

March 29, 2017

4 Min Read
President Trump makes remarks prior to signing an Energy Independence Executive Order at EPA Headquarters on March 28, 2017. Vice President Mike Pence looks on from left and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt looks on from right. Ron Sach/Pool/GettyImages

President Trump on Tuesday signed the Energy Independence Executive Order.

The Energy Independence Executive Order directs agencies responsible for regulating domestic energy production to submit plans to the White House, which will identify, and propose measures to revise or rescind, regulatory barriers that impede progress towards energy independence. Moreover, the order rescinds several Obama executive orders and policies related to climate change. It also directs the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Interior to review, and if necessary, revise or rescind, several regulations that may place unnecessary, costly burdens on coal-fired electric utilities, coal miners, and oil and gas producers.

“The American people deserve an EPA that works to protect both the environment and enables a growing economy,” said Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Our EPA puts America first. President Trump has a clear vision to create jobs and his vision is completely compatible with a clean and healthy environment. By taking these actions today, the EPA is returning the Agency to its core mission of protecting public health while also being pro-energy independence.”

Pruitt said the order is intended to make the country both pro-energy and pro-environment. It also puts an end to regulatory assault, he said.

"We are not going to allow regulations here at the EPA to pick winners and losers," Pruitt said.

The administration is going to transform the nation's economy, grow jobs and protect the environment, he said.

View the Executive Order here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/presidential-executive-order-promoting-energy-independence-and-economi-1

What others are saying about Trump's executive order:

"We appreciate the Trump administration working to protect American families and businesses from the potentially devastating impacts of the Clean Power Plan," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. "Today’s announcement is welcome news for electric cooperatives across the nation seeking flexibility and fairness -- but it’s not yet the end of the journey. Now that President Trump has issued his executive order, we look forward to EPA undoing this rule and taking a closer look at other current regulations."

“Climate change is a real and intensifying threat to this country and all of humanity, and any action that undercuts the progress we have made to address its damage is patently short-sighted and fundamentally unwise," said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland. "As such, the president’s actions to undercut the Clean Power Plan create greater uncertainty for electric utilities and the American public alike, and absolutely represents the wrong direction for our country. Unfortunately, by elevating the extraction of fossil fuels at a time when our renewable energy sector is beginning to realize its vast potential, today’s actions by the Trump administration have compromised America’s energy security interests and our leadership role on climate change in the eyes of the world."

"We appreciate the Trump administration working to protect American families and businesses from the potentially devastating impacts of the Clean Power Plan," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. "Today’s announcement is welcome news for electric cooperatives across the nation seeking flexibility and fairness -- but it’s not yet the end of the journey. Now that President Trump has issued his executive order, we look forward to EPA undoing this rule and taking a closer look at other current regulations." 

“The scientific consensus is clear; the climate is changing, humanity is the major influence, and some of the resulting impacts on society are likely to be severe," wrote Chris McEntee, American Geophysical Union's executive director and CEO. "We are already seeing the negative effects of climate change in local communities and around the world. Extreme weather events and sea level rise impact critical infrastructure in coastal communities, while increasing periods of drought and rainfall are affecting water availability in regions such as the Great Plains or Southwest. Financially, severe weather disasters cost the U.S. more than $100 billion in 2012. Addressing these and many other challenges requires collaboration from all stakeholders, including businesses, the energy industry, and local and federal governments around the world."

"We appreciate the Trump administration working to protect American families and businesses from the potentially devastating impacts of the Clean Power Plan," said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson. "Now that President Trump has issued his executive order, we look forward to EPA undoing this rule and taking a closer look at other current regulations. Today’s announcement is an important step toward protecting our cooperatives and millions of Americans from the costly impacts of the CPP as co-ops continue innovating and moving toward cleaner energy production."

“Calling climate change a ‘hoax’ won’t stop temperatures or sea level from rising. We can tackle the climate crisis by investing in science and clean, renewable energy, but only if we move boldly and quickly. Defunding science, undercutting clean energy, and doubling down on fossil fuels is sheer reckless folly," said Luke Metzger, director Environment Texas.

Source: EPA, Sen. Ben Cardin, Environment Texas, American Geophysical Union

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