Trump is rolling back environmental regulations passed during the Obama administration. On Tuesday, he signed his executive order which “directs the EPA to suspend, revise, or rescind the Clean Power Plan.” It also “lifts the moratorium on federal coal leasing, rescinds restrictions on hydraulic fracking, and eliminates the National Environmental Policy Act.” Trump has declared that he is putting an end to the war on coal while arguing that he is increasing jobs through his executive order. Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order also mandates that every agency conducts a 180-day review that identifies all regulations and rules that “impede” energy production; the reports will supposedly be used to create an energy blueprint.
Trump’s claim that more jobs will be provided to Americans with this executive order is extremely inaccurate and ignores economic realities. Jobs have been lost in the coal industry because of automation and efficiency. In fact, “the largest coal mining machine in the world can extract 4,500 tons of coal per hour and requires only 27 people to operate.” I agree with Michael Brune that the best way to protect workers and the environment is to invest in growing the clean energy economy and to help workers make the transition to other energy jobs. I do not see anything beneficial in this executive order as it will harm the environment and will not actually save coal jobs.