Donald Trump has signed an executive order designed to repeal Obama's environmental restrictions
Obama's Clean Power Plan is in tatters after Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order reverses the ban on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions.
The former President had hoped the US would meet the demands of the global climate change accord agreed by almost 200 countries in Paris, 2015.
But the Republican, speaking at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, said: "I am taking historic steps to lift restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations.
Kentucky Coal Association president Tyler White told Reuters: "I cannot tell you how many jobs the executive order is going to create but I can tell you that it provides confidence in this administration's commitment to the coal industry."
President Trump is an outspoken climate change sceptic and he said he wanted to roll back environmentally stringent policies throughout his election campaign.
Donald Trump was surrounded by coal workers when he signed the order
Trump's order also lifts the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management's temporary ban on coal leasing on federal property put in place by Obama in 2016 as part of a review to study the program's impact on climate change and ensure royalty revenues were fair to taxpayers.
It also asks federal agencies to discount the cost of carbon in policy decisions and the weight of climate change considerations in infrastructure permitting, and reverses rules limiting methane leakage from oil and gas facilities.
Donald Trump clearly likes his new environmental measures
Environmentalists have vowed to fight his proposals, especially considering around 85 per cent of US states are currently on track to meet their environmental targets.
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, the head of activist group NextGen Climate, said: "These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American."
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