President Trump signed on Tuesday a much-anticipated executive order intended to roll back most of President Barack Obama’s climate-change legacy, celebrating the move as a way to promote energy independence and to restore thousands of lost coal industry jobs.
Flanked by coal miners at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Trump signed a short document titled the “Energy Independence” executive order, directing the agency to start the legal process of withdrawing and rewriting the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s policies to fight global warming.
The order also takes aim at a suite of narrower but significant Obama-era climate and environmental policies, including lifting a short-term ban on new coal mining on public lands.
The executive order does not address the United States’ participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement, the landmark accord that committed nearly every country to take steps to reduce climate-altering pollution. But experts note that if the Trump program is enacted, it will all but ensure that the United States cannot meet its clean air commitments under the accord.
Mr. Trump advertised the moves as a way to decrease the nation’s dependence on imported fuels and revive the flagging coal industry.
But energy economists say the order falls short of both of those goals — in part because the United States already largely relies on domestic sources for the coal and natural gas that fires most of the nation’s power plants.
Mr. Trump’s order “sends a signal to other countries that they might not have to meet their commitments — which would mean that the world would fail to stay out of the climate danger zone.”
First seen on New York Times