Trump poised to lift federal coal ban, other green rules -White House

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By Richard Valdmanis

<span class="articleLocation”>U.S. President Donald Trump will target a
handful of Obama-era green regulations, including a federal coal
mining ban and an initiative forcing states to cut carbon
emissions, in an executive order as soon as next week, a White
House official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Trump and his fellow Republicans who control Congress are
seeking to unravel former Democratic President Barack Obama’s
initiatives to combat global climate change, which they say are
costly for U.S. business and have hampered drilling and mining
without providing any clear benefits.

“Rescinding the federal coal leasing moratorium is part of
that executive order, which has lots of different components,
including the Clean Power Plan,” the White House official, who
asked not to be named, told Reuters. The official said the order
was scheduled to come next week.

The Clean Power Plan is Obama’s centerpiece initiative to
combat climate change, requiring states to slash emissions of
carbon dioxide, but it was never implemented due to legal
challenges launched by several Republican states.

Legal experts have said Trump could begin the process of
killing the regulation by having the Environmental Protection
Agency ask the courts to return it to the agency for review,
effectively ending its legal defense.

Killing the coal mining ban would be easier. Trump could
reverse the ban by asking the Department of Interior to lift it
and resume its coal leasing program.

Obama’s administration imposed the temporary ban on new
federal coal leases in January 2016 as part of a broad
environmental and economic review of the program aimed at
ensuring lease deals account for coal’s contribution to global
climate change and yield fair returns to taxpayers.

But it angered some Western state lawmakers and people in
the mining industry, who said it stymied development.

Trump has already rolled back some Obama-era green
regulations, including the Stream Protection Rule limiting coal
mining waste dumping, and the Waters of the U.S. rule that
expands the waterways under federal protection.

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