Trump signs overhauling order on ‘Energy Independence Policy’

Washington D. C. [USA], Mar. 29 :U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that could be the end of Obama-era environmental policy.

The order will curb the enforcement of a number of climate regulations, in an effort, the Trump administration says, to prioritize American jobs above addressing climate change, reports the CNN.

The White House on Tuesday said in a statement on 'President Trump's Energy Independence Policy', that the past administration burdened Americans with costly regulations that harmed American jobs and energy production and that the new executive order reverses the regulations on American jobs and energy production.

According to the statement, the order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend, revise, or rescind four actions related to the Clean Power Plan that would stifle the American energy industry.

It said that the previous administration's Clean Power Plan could cost up to USD 39 billion a year and increase electricity prices in 41 States by at least ten percent, according to NERA Economic Consulting.

The executive order also directs the Attorney General to seek appropriate relief from the courts over pending litigation related to the Clean Power Plan.

"President Trump's Executive Order rescinds Executive and Agency actions centered on the previous administration's climate change agenda that have acted as a road block to energy independence," the statement said adding that the order also lifts ban on federal leasing for coal production.

"President Trump's Executive Order lifts job-killing restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas, and shale energy.

President Trump's Executive Order directs all agencies to conduct a review of existing actions that harm domestic energy production and suspend, revise, or rescind actions that are not mandated by law," it added.

Within 180 days the agencies must finalise their plans. It also disbands the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases. "President Trump has signed four pieces of legislation to clear burdensome and costly regulations on energy production from the previous Administration." Trump also directed the Department of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers.

He also signed a Presidential Memorandum and gave a Presidential permit to clear roadblocks to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline.

President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete its construction.

According to British journalist and environmental activist Mark Lynas, the order "is intended to make coal competitive again in the US economy, by refossilizing the US power sector and demonstrably increasing carbon emissions," reports the CNN.

"This is politically symbolic, as it will show that the Obama legacy on climate can be deleted," he added.

While the order focuses on domestic policies, it will likely signal a shift in the United States' global approach to climate change.

However, some experts retain an optimistic view, arguing that the momentum toward renewable energy is unstoppable.

Source: ANI