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US President Donald Trump has officially declared an end to the “war on coal”.
Mr Trump signed a promised executive order on Tuesday that rolls back his predecessor Barack Obama’s action against climate change — including an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan — and includes a boost to fossil fuel power, including coal.
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal”, Mr Trump said at a press conference for the order’s signing.
Mr Trump made reversing Mr Obama’s climate change policies a key campaign promise in an effort to boost jobs, particularly in the coal mining industry, although some economists have questioned whether the Obama-era regulations were to blame instead of competition from cheap natural gas and slowing global demand for coal.
What’s in the order? Here’s how White House press secretary Sean Spicer described it during Tuesday’s briefing:
“First, it 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.
It also rescinds a number of the previous administration’s actions that don’t reflect this administration’s priorities.
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.
Finally, the order establishes a directive for agencies to use the best available science and economics in their regulatory analysis moving forward.”