Published: Thu, March 30, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions

"We can actually achieve good jobs, good growth and pro-energy policies at the same time as protecting our environment", said EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, "and the president is sending that message by this signature today and this executive order".

But Trump's climate scepticism has struck a chord with many Republican voters.

The new US administration is also lifting a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.

While the move was naturally welcomed by coal miners and coal company executives who flanked the President at the headquarters, environmentalists and energy analysts believe otherwise. There are about 50,000 jobs in coal mining now, as automation, cheap natural gas and increased regulation has steadily decreased employment in that sector.

Already tied up in the courts is Mr Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks to cut fossil fuels from electricity production.

"The EPA has a legal obligation under the Clean Air Act to curtail global warming emissions to help limit the impacts of climate change", said Union of Concerned Scientists President Ken Kimmell. "I will also cancel all wasteful climate change spending from Obama/Clinton", Trump said in October 2016.

U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va, who serves as chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus, described the regulations put in place by the Obama administration as "job-killing regulations on the coal industry".

Trump's decree also reverses a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions.

Trump moved Tuesday to unravel energy regulations, targeting the Obama administration's signature program - The Clean Power Plan - that was meant to curb carbon emissions. He said he proposed the miners get out of the industry and find other jobs.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., joined Trump at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., for the signing of the president's Energy Independence Executive Order.

One of the biggest concerns that emerged with the election of Donald Trump as the US President - of that country potentially withdrawing from its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change - is coming to the fore. "I think that's going to be a high hurdle for them". "Prime Minister is clear that India's emphasis on renewable energy sources will continue", he said after a meeting with the U.S. Energy Secretary.

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