But energy economists say the order falls short of both of those goals — in part because the United States already largely relies on domestic sources for the coal and natural gas that fires most of the nation’s power plants.
“We don’t import coal,” said Robert N. Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University. “So in terms of the Clean Power Plan, this has nothing to do with so-called energy independence whatsoever.”
Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, said in an interview on ABC News on Sunday that the order will help the United States “be both pro-jobs and pro-environment.”
But coal miners should not assume their jobs will return if Trump’s regulations take effect.
The new order would mean that older coal plants that had been marked for closing would probably stay open for a few years longer, extending the demand for coal, said Robert W. Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming.
But even so, “the mines that are staying open are using more mechanization,” he said.
“They’re not hiring people,” he continued.
“So even if we saw an increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs,” he added.
Legal experts say it could take years for the Trump administration to unwind the Clean Power Plan, which has not yet been carried out because it has been…