Trump to roll back Clean Power Plan
WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order today to undo his predecessor Barack Obama's plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fuelled power plants, according to his new environmental chief.
Speaking on ABC's Sunday talk show This Week, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said rolling back Mr Obama's 2015 Clean Power Plan would bring back coal jobs.
"The past administration had a very anti-fossil fuel strategy," he said. "So this is a promise (Mr Trump) is keeping to the American people to say that we can put people back to work."
Told by ABC host George Stephanopoulos that most coal-job losses took place a decade ago under Mr Obama's predecessor George W. Bush - as natural gas increasingly replaced coal - Mr Pruitt dismissed concerns that Mr Trump had made a promise he can't keep.
"It will bring back manufacturing jobs across the country, coal jobs across the country," he said of the president's forthcoming order.
"For too long over the last several years, we have accepted a narrative that if you're pro-growth, pro-jobs, you're anti-environment," he added, accusing the Obama administration of making "efforts to kill jobs across this country through the clean power plan".
He said Mr Trump's order would also lower electricity rates for Americans.
Supporters of the Clean Power Plan say it would help create thousands of clean-energy jobs.
A known fossil-fuel ally, Mr Pruitt's appointment to head the EPA - an agency he repeatedly sued as a state attorney general - has been deeply contentious.
Earlier this month, the climate change sceptic said he believes carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming, as scientists have said for decades.
Mr Trump's action comes as the Clean Power Plan rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-governed states and more than 100 companies. - AFP