As I noted in my recent EPA-update post, President Donald Trump’s pen inked out Barack Obama’s climate change inanity when he signed a sweeping executive order focused on energy independence.

With a sweeping executive order signed at EPA headquarters, Trump initiated an immediate review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. Surrounded by coal miners, the president described that plan as a “crushing attack” on workers and vowed to nix “job-killing regulations.”

“We’re going to have safety, we’re going to have clean water, we’re going to have clean air, but so many [regulations] are unnecessary, so many are job-killing,” he said.

Trump added, “Together we are going to start a new energy revolution.”

Speaking earlier with “Fox & Friends,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the president is setting a “new course” that is both “pro-jobs” and “pro-environment.”

“It’s going to create jobs in the oil and gas sector,” he said. “For too long, over the last several years, you’ve had certain industries, certain sectors of our economy that were within the crosshairs of the EPA.”

He added, “That is not going to happen anymore.”

Later, White House Press secretary Sean Spicer expanded upon benefits of the new policy:

Spicer said that Tuesday’s order included “a review of the new performance standards for coal-fired and natural gas-fired plants that amount to a de facto ban on new coal plant production in the United States”. He told reporters: “This is great news for states like Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and others.”

All the states listed voted for Trump in last November’s presidential election. The executive order continues his aggressive endeavour to unravel his predecessor’s policies and strip away regulations in what his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has called “the deconstruction of the administrative state”. This includes radically diminishing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

While the energy industry is always unpredictable, and natural gas development will impact the need for coal, it seems President Trump’s policy goals have already helped some miners. A few hundred workers have been rehired in one area of Kentucky.

During the Obama administration, figures obtained by Fox News show that 36,800 coal miners lost their jobs. Last September, the number of people mining coal hit the lowest point since 1985.

Since Trump took office, 300 miners have been re-hired.

Ninety of the new hires are at the E4-1 mine in Hazard. But that was after the mine was hit by a series of layoffs since 2012 that left 460 workers out of a job.

“Maybe it’s a little comeback at this point,” said Chris Hamilton Senior VP of the West Virginia Coal Association.

That the climate alarmists and their political minions are unhappy with the new executive order is a wonderful side-benefit. Legal Insurrection readers will recall that new York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had organized 16-other state AG’s to legally challenge “climate change deniers“.

He apparently is less than thrilled with this development, saying: “We regret the fact that the president is trying to bow back history. But it’s not going to happen. The markets are moving. The states are moving.”

And, as with immigration, state-specific resistance is planned:

Several states vowed to maintain climate rules, including New York and California, who have aggressive greenhouse gas targets on the books.

Separately, environmentalists said they would aggressively fight back against the order.

Lawsuits are likely to be the main strategy these groups have for fighting back against Trump, and many hinted at future litigation in their reactions on Tuesday.

“President Trump and EPA Administrator Pruitt will find that they cannot simply eliminate these initiatives with the stroke of a pen,” Ann Weeks, legal director at the Clean Air Task Force, said in a statement. “When they try, we will see them in court.”

But, since Trump didn’t need California or New York to win the presidency, I don’t think that he will lose much sleep over the continued, blue-state drama.

I sure hope there is more ink left in Trump’s pen. There is much more to be done, especially to promote the new energy revolution.


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