Trump moves to roll back Obama climate measures

"The executive order will be challenged legally because it undermines the Supreme Court's MA vs. EPA decision, which ruled that the government has a duty to limit climate pollution under the Clean Air Act assuming an endangerment finding, which was issued in 2009, upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012, and served as the basis of the carbon pollution limits for new and existing power plants", the National Wildlife Federation said on Tuesday. Former Vice President Al Gore signaled to reporters in mid-March that there was a "realistic chance" Trump would keep the USA engaged in the talks. "So the people in the business applaud this effort, believe it will do a lot to revive the industry", he said.

While Trump's administration has said reducing environmental regulation will create jobs, some green groups have countered that rules supporting clean energy have done the same.

Spicer called the executive order "great news for states like Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and others". "The mines that are staying open are using more mechanization", Robert W. Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming, tells the NY Times.

In 2008 there were 88,000 coal miners in the United States, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

But Trump's promise runs counter to market forces, including USA utilities converting coal-fired power plants to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas.

Former US vice-president and climate change activist Al Gore said the order was a "misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come".

There is no mention of the Paris Agreement on climate change, from which Mr. Trump has previously said he would withdraw. Brown notes that "estimates of damage could rise to 20 percent of GDP or more". "This executive order will help to ensure that we have clean air and clean water without sacrificing economic growth and job creation".

Those concerns about US climate commitments under a Trump presidency could come up in May when diplomats gather for a working group meeting on the Paris climate agreement.

"My administration is putting an end to the war on coal", Trump said at a signing ceremony at the EPA's headquarters in Washington, DC.

The president of green group Earthjustice, Trip Van Noppen, said: "This order ignores the law and scientific reality".

Coal's share of the US power market has dwindled from more than 50 percent last decade to about 32 percent previous year. The long-anticipated document directs the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to repeal curbs on power plants' carbon emissions-policies created to help the United States meet its commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

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Coal leasing on public lands, which is currently under a moratorium, will now be allowed, and the executive order also allows for the rewriting of methane emission limits placed on the oil and gas industry.

In an interview on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt teased the order's announcement, saying it would "address the past administration's efforts to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan".

That plan includes a mix of coal, natural gas, wind, solar and geothermal.

In 2015, the fracking restrictions on federal lands were put in place by the Obama administration, but they were immediately contested, and a federal judge struck down the rule in June 2016.

Still, this is just a bit of a salve in light of the anti-environmental actions that President Donald Trump is taking at the national level today.

James Rubin, a Washington attorney who served 15 years in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, said that California and several Northeast states are well ahead of the requirements that had been outlined in the Clean Power Plan.

"Addressing our country's largest source of carbon pollution - existing fossil fuel-burning power plants - is both required under the Clean Air Act and essential to mitigating climate change's growing harm to our public health, environments, and economies", the coalition said in a statement.

The agency must first get permission from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the rule is tied up in litigation, to revisit the matter.

"It could be revising, improving, updating, or if things are illegal or, again, if they don't conform to the President's priorities", an administration official told reporters this week.

The Trump administration says that scrapping the plan will put people to work and reduce America's reliance on imported fuel. But the moves to be announced Tuesday will undoubtedly make it more hard for the U.S.to achieve its goals.