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Trump to Sign Executive Order Undoing Obama Cuts in Power Plant Emissions

  • VOA News

U.S. President Donald Trump, March 24, 2017.

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order this week scrapping Obama cuts in power plant emissions, Trump's environmental chief says.

EPA director Scott Pruitt told ABC Television's This Week broadcast Sunday that Trump believes the U.S. needs what he calls a "pro-growth and pro-environment approach."

"For too long...we have accepted a narrative that if you're pro-growth, pro-jobs, you're anti-environment; if you're pro-environment, you're anti-jobs or anti-growth," Pruitt said.

He said the Trump plan to lift restrictions on emissions by plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels will be both pro-growth and pro-environment, but within the rules spelled out by the the Clean Air Act.

Pruitt pointed out that innovation and technology, particularly in coal and natural gas, have brought the country's carbon footprint to pre-1994 levels. He said Trump's move will also bring down also electricity rates for consumers.

Trump has already alarmed environmentalists by ordering completion of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline, promising to revive the moribund U.S. coal industry, and asking the EPA to reconsider rules regulating clean water and fuel economy for cars.

Trump also threatened during his campaign to tear up the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The deal calls on most signatories to cut greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming, by 2025 at the latest.

While the future of U.S. participation in the deal is still uncertain, Pruitt calls it a "bad deal."

"China and India...the largest producers of CO2 internationally, got away scot-free. They didn't have to take steps until 2030," he said.

Pruitt says the U.S. has penalized itself through lost jobs by signing the agreement.

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