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Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions

Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions

The order helps Trump fulfill his campaign promise to roll back President Barack Obama's plan to cut climate-changing emissions, which was bitterly opposed by coal companies and many voters in coal country. "We will put our miners back to work". Trump said the measures herald "a new era in American energy and production and job creation".

"Our ability to be energy independent and not be held hostage by foreign entities", Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, "delivers national security".

"President Trump's decisive action lets everyone know this unlawful, job-killing regulation will find no support in his administration", said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

That plan was meant to cut harmful carbon emissions by replacing coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources.

The Interior Department a year ago placed a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands to review the climate change impacts of burning the fuel and whether taxpayers were getting a fair return.

But the nation already gets 98 percent of its electricity domestically, with only about 2 percent coming from our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, according to the Energy Information Administration.

While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data show that USA mines have been losing jobs for decades under presidents from both parties because of automation and competition from natural gas and because solar panels and wind turbines can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal.

"When usage goes up, we may call on Canada to fill a [temporary] gap", Grant Ringel with Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue said.

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"Most big companies in the United States recognise that climate change is real", Geoffrey M. Heal, a professor at Columbia Business School, said in a telephone interview.

"Natural gas is so abundant and so affordable that it is driving the economics of energy across the board", Ringel said.

The order also seeks to relax other emissions standards for new coal power plants and natural gas operations.

In the meantime, catastrophic climate change is as much of a crisis as ever, and the clock is ticking. Given that, it's hard to believe he cares at all about jobs for coal miners.

China is both the worlds largest exporter of renewable energy, and at the same time one of the leading exporters of coal-fired power plants. Carbon dioxide and methane are two of the main greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for heating the earth. The moratorium on the leasing of federally controlled coal was created to keep America's largest source of coal firmly in the ground.

"People are going to freeze in the dark because of the destruction of the reliable electric power grid under Obama and the Democrats", Robert Murray, the president and CEO of coal-mining company Murray Energy Corp said in an interview. "We are looking forward to continuing to work with all of our elected officials to build on the progress we've made so far", Ledger said. Although the executive order largely redirects the policy objectives of the EPA and other federal agencies, it is important to understand that the EPA still has to undertake a full-rule making procedure to completely undo the finalized CPP regulation, which could take years.

But rather than ending the war, coal industry and environmental interest combatants said the president's order signals the beginning of an anticipated long regulatory and legal battle over the issue of greenhouse emissions and dirty air.

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