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President Trump's executive order will undo Obama's Clean Power Plan rule

28 March 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday to overhaul an Obama administration rule to cap carbon pollution from power plants that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030.

When pressed on whether the new executive order would face court challenges, Pruitt said he isn't anxious about potential legal ramifications.

"Horizontal drilling has allowed there to be much more conversion to natural gas in the generation of electricity", Pruitt said.

Under Trump's America First Energy Plan, the budget "reorients EPA's air program to protect the air we breathe without unduly burdening the American economy".

The document lays out a broad blueprint for the Trump administration to dismantle the architecture that former President Barack Obama built to combat the phenomenon, according to details shared with Bloomberg News.

Trump has done little to assuage those fears, vowing to slash EPA funding by a third, appointing anti-climate litigator Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA and Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. The coming order underscores Trump's commitment to make good on his campaign promises, which helped propel him to victory in industrial strongholds such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

"It will bring back manufacturing jobs across the country, coal jobs across the country", he said of the president's forthcoming order.

"So Paris was just a bad deal, in my estimation".

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"This didn't happen as a result of EPA's heavy hand", Pruitt testified during a House subcommittee hearing in May 2016.

Trump's order would also signal further evidence that federal lawyers are unlikely to fight for the plan in court, leaving environmental groups and other organizations to wage its legal defense by themselves.

"On Tuesday, President Trump will sign an Energy Independence Executive Order at the EPA to strengthen the nation's energy security by reducing unnecessary regulatory obstacles that restrict the responsible use of domestic energy resources", White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said in a statement.

And some experts warn the economic payoff from ditching the clean power plan will be limited.

The plan is being challenged in the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. "The past administration had a very anti-fossil fuel strategy", he said. He said that the public did not want to buy the cars that meet the higher efficiency standards and that continuing to manufacture them is "counter-helpful" to the environment.

It benefited China and India, despite being the world's leading producers of carbon dioxide like the United States, he added.

Reporters Emily Holden and Evan Lehmann contributed.