US: Trump tears up Obama climate plans
Greens angered as president rolls back progress
US Environmentalists were on the warpath yesterday after President Donald Trump ended Barack Obama’s “War on Coal.”
Mr Trump signed an order on Tuesday rescinding Mr Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” he said as he rolled back anti-global warming measures that saw coal mines closed as power stations moved to gas and other fuels.
He also vowed to tear up other regulations on business, while claiming clean air and water would not suffer as a result.
“I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.”
Mr Tump said miners “told me about the efforts to shut down their mines, their communities and their very way of life.
“I made them this promise: We will put our miners back to work.”
But Natural Resources Defence Council government affairs director David Goldston said: “This is not what most people elected Trump to do. People support climate action.
“The president doesn’t get to simply rewrite safeguards; they have to … prove the changes are in line with the law and science,” Mr Goldston asserted.
But with many of Mr Obama’s policies enacted through executive orders rather than legislation, Mr Trump is at liberty to strike them down at the stroke of a pen.
Greens said Mr Trump’s return to coal would fail as state legislatures and companies were already embracing renewable energy and natural gas — which equals coal in producing a third of US electricity.
“Those decisions are being made at the state level and plant by plant,” siad Earthjustice president Trip Van Noppen, who said his group was “continuing to work aggressively to retire dirty coal plants.
“Coal is not coming back,” Mr Van Noppen insisted.
“While the president is taking big splashy action, he is actually doomed to fail.”
California Governor Jerry Brown said: “Gutting the Clean Power Plan is a colossal mistake and defies science itself.
“Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump’s mind, but nowhere else.”