WASHINGTON — President Trump’s executive order on American energy independence is a sweeping repudiation of Obama-era environmental initiatives, substituting a strategy of combating climate change through international cooperation for an America-first energy policy.
Trump proclaimed the order as “the start of a new era of American energy production” that would “restore economic freedom and allow our workers to thrive compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time.” Trump spoke at a signing ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday on a stage with a dozen coal miners.
Trump’s executive order will roll back at least 10 major Obama environmental regulations, but it goes beyond an attempt to reverse Obama-era environmental policies.
Officials said the order “will look back and it will look forward,” providing the framework for a new Trump-era energy framework that will emphasize more production, more jobs and fewer environmental safeguards.
Despite relaxing many environmental standards, the Trump White House argues that its energy policies can be good for the environement in the long term. “The president strongly believes that protecting the environment and promoting our economy are not mutually exclusive goals,” press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. “This executive order will help to ensure that we have clean air and clean water without sacrificing economic growth and job creation.”
The order will ask all federal agencies to identify obstacles to domestic energy production, with a report back to the White House for future action. And Trump said the order is “returning power to the states, where that power belongs.”
The order makes good on Trump’s promise to end what he called a “war on coal,” and to bring back coal jobs. “I made them this promise. We will put our…