PRESIDENT LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON FOSSIL FUEL PRODUCTION
Trump orders the lifting of Obama-era restrictions on fossil fuel production
Environmental groups are mobilizing, vowing to fight President Donald Trump’s latest executive order: a command that federal agencies dismantle the nation’s policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.
Hunters and anglers are helping lead the opposition.
Trump’s order, which he signed Tuesday, would overhaul the Clean Power Plan crafted under President Obama to control carbon pollution from power plants. The order also opens the way for leasing rights to mine coal on federal public land and stops efforts to consider climate change in federal decision-making.
“It’s a senseless betrayal of our national interests,” Natural Resources Defense Council president Rhea Suh said. “Trump is sacrificing our future for fossil fuel profits — and leaving our kids to pay the price. This would do lasting damage to our environment and public lands, threaten our homes and health, hurt our pocketbooks and slow the clean energy progress that has already generated millions of good-paying jobs.”
The Environmental Defense Fund, which has championed free-market solutions to challenges posed by climate change, said the Trump order points the nation “backward to an era of more pollution and more disease.”
The order “will cost American lives,” EDF president Fred Krupp said. “Rhetoric about protecting the environment cannot obscure the fact that the President’s executive order launches a process explicitly designed to allow air pollution levels to go up. This will allow premature deaths to go up, heart attacks and asthma attacks to go up, and sick days from work and school to go up.”
The EPA’s scientific analysis concluded that rescinding the Clean Power Plan would cause up to 3,600 more premature deaths a year, 1,700 more heart attacks, 90,000 more asthma attacks, and 300,000 more missed work days and school days, Krupp said.
“The president offers no replacement plan to protect our communities and families from the clear and present danger of climate pollution,” he said.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., also condemned the president’s order.
“This anti-climate Executive Order is a direct assault on the health of our children and clean energy economy,” Bennet said in a statement. “President Trump’s decision to rewrite the Clean Power Plan could jeopardize thousands of new jobs and billions to our economy, and produce a confusing patchwork of state laws for American businesses. It also could prevent the EPA from regulating clean air and water, sacrificing a rigorous scientific process in the name of ideology. Instead of leading the fight against climate change and transition to clean energy, this Administration has abandoned it.”
Sierra Club director Michael Brune issued a statement saying his organization “will fight Trump in the courts, in the streets and at the state and local level across America.”
Warmer temperatures last year broke records set in 2015. The heat records set in 2015 broke the records from 2014. Carbon emissions from power plants, agriculture, vehicles and other sources cause global warming, according to scientists. And climate change creates conditions that favor intense storms, stronger heat waves and frequent droughts. More than 190 nations, including the United States, have agreed to try to limit global warming to no more than 3.6 degrees. Cutting carbon emissions from power plants is a core element in the U.S. strategy to do its part.
The Sierra Club’s Colorado director Jim Alexee emphasized that clean energy and energy-efficiency industries employ more people in the western United States than the fossil fuel industries.
“All Trump is doing is trying to prolong our reliance on the fossil fuels that pollute our environment, keep our energy bills high and prevent new job growth,” he said.
The National Wildlife Federation issued a statement saying Trump’s order “will be challenged legally” because it violates law established by the U. S. Supreme Court.
“Our nation faces a choice: Do we want to responsibly seize the multitrillion dollar global clean energy market or do we want to cede leadership and millions of innovation and manufacturing jobs to China?” NWF president Collin O’Mara said.
“The science is clear: we must reduce industrial carbon pollution if we want to stave off worsening climate impacts. The most effective way to do so is for Congress to put a price on carbon pollution, which would unleash market forces that will catalyze innovation and spur domestic job creation. However in the absence of Congressional action, the Clean Power Plan and oil and gas methane limits are sensible, affordable, and legally required actions that will reduce pollution, help wildlife, and create jobs,” O’Mara said. ” We are deeply disappointed in the administration’s Executive Order seeking to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, a thoughtful, legally sound, and flexible policy to reduce carbon pollution, spur job creation and help wildlife. Further, the decision to resume the federal coal leasing — before reforming submarket leasing prices and without ensuring that degraded mining sites will be reclaimed — will continue to shortchange taxpayers and local communities by continuing loopholes and subsidies that allow more pollution and harm important wildlife habitat for iconic species like pronghorn, mule deer, elk, and sage grouse.”