Trump executive order garners praise, anger from industry groups

Politicians, pressure groups and others are sounding off after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to roll back regulations on power plant pollution midday Tuesday.

Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax” invented by China, set his sights on the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era set of regulations that put the first-ever limitations on carbon dioxide pollution from the power generation sector.

Trump said these regulations hurt jobs, and eliminating them will put people, such as coal miners, back to work.

The American Public Power Association said they agreed with the executive order, adding states should maintain the authority to plan and implement generation and energy policies that are suitable for their circumstances.

“We appreciate the Administration’s recognition that a review of these rules is needed with the goal of reducing uncertainty attached to their implementation and stabilizing costs to end-use consumers. The Association looks forward to a meticulous review and consideration of these matters by EPA,” according to a release from the APPA.

“We are also supportive of the Administration’s decision to rescind the use of the social cost of carbon and guidance on climate change under the National Environmental Policy Act required by the previous Administration,” according to the APPA.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has joined other attorneys general to oppose President Donald Trump’s signing of an executive order aimed at unraveling a federal plan restricting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Balderas and the others said the Clean Power Plan is essential to mitigating climate change’s effect on public health and the environment. They also warned that court action is a possibility.

Democratic Govs. Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York issued a joint statement Tuesday saying they’re still committed to their own emissions targets. Their targets are stricter than the Obama power-plant rule Trump seeks to eliminate.

The two states have set aggressive goals to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Brown and Cuomo say Trump’s order is “profoundly misguided and shockingly ignores basic science.”

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, an advocacy group for coal producers, said it commended the president for his order.

“The Clean Power Plan is the poster child for regulations that are unnecessarily expensive and have no meaningful environmental benefit,” said Paul Bailey, President and CEO of ACCCE.  “We look forward to working with EPA Administrator Pruitt to develop sensible policies that protect the environment without shutting down more coal-fueled power plants, one of our most resilient and affordable sources of electricity,” according to a release by the ACCCE.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue praised the president for taking “bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority.”

“These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration’s strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy,” he said.

Former Vice President Al Gore blasted the order as “a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come.”

“It is essential, not only to our planet, but also to our economic future, that the United States continues to serve as a global leader in solving the climate crisis by transitioning to clean energy, a transition that will continue to gain speed due to the increasing competiveness of solar and wind,” he said in a statement.

Ali A. Zaidi, Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy and Science under President Obama, said the Clean Power Plan fits in with the business goals of the private sector.

“Today, private sector companies choosing to ignore climate change occupy an increasingly shrinking island,” Zaidi says. “Instead, most are leaning into the risks and opportunities climate change presents — and finding ways to establish commercial and competitive advantage.”

In a statement, the Audubon Society said there are some 314 species of birds that are already at risk due to the effects of climate change.

“There are numerous paths to reach a clean energy future, but none-of-the-above isn’t one of them. The administration is taking off the table our most concrete plans to deal with climate change–but without a single alternative,” said the Audubon Society’s David Yarnold.

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