President Donald Trump kept one of his main campaign promises Tuesday as he issued an executive order rolling back the climate change policies adopted by his predecessor.
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at the offices of the Environmental Protection Agency, where he was flanked by a contingent of coal miners.
“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.”
Trump said his order was “the start of a new era of American energy production” that would “restore economic freedom and allow our workers to thrive compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time.”
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 28, 2017
The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends multiple measures enacted by President Barack Obama
Among the initiatives Trump killed with the stroke of a pen was the Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions to meet U.S. commitments under the Paris accord.
President Trump just dismantled the heart of President Obama’s climate legacy. pic.twitter.com/WnpiB4lzv6
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) March 28, 2017
Trump’s order will also reverse a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, scrap rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production, and reduce the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions.
“These actions are vital to the American coal industry, to our survival, and to getting some of our coal families back to work,” said Robert E. Murray, the chief executive of Murray Energy, one of the nation’s largest coal mining companies.
“I cannot tell you how many jobs the executive order is going to create but I can tell you that it provides confidence in this administration’s commitment to the coal industry,” said Kentucky Coal Association president Tyler White.
Joining Trump for the signing were EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump, who has long been a skeptic on climate change, promised during the campaign that he would reverse the direction taken by Obama, who sought to make efforts to fight climate change one of his policy centerpieces.