President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that his administration was "putting an end to the war on coal" by signing executive order rolling back Obama-era energy regulations.
"We're going to have clean coal, really clean coal," Trump said, flanked by coal miners from West Virginia, at a signing ceremony at the White House. "I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.
"We are going to have safety. We are going to have clean water. We are going to have clean air.
"So many are unnecessary and so many are job-killing," Trump said. "We are getting rid of the bad ones."
President Trump's order initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
The regulation, which was former President Barack Obama's signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.
But just as Obama's climate efforts were often stymied by legal challenges, environmental groups are promising to fight Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda in court.
Trump has called global warming a "hoax" invented by the Chinese, and has repeatedly criticized the power-plant rule as an attack on American workers and the struggling U.S. coal industry.
Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, also alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said that he did not believe that carbon dioxide was a primary contributor to global warming.
The statement is at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and Pruitt's own agency.
In addition, Trump's order lifts a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.
The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change.
Trump said Tuesday that his order would "eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our companies and workers to thrive, compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time.
"We are lifting job-killing regulations on oil, natural gas, clean coal and shale energy," he added. "We are returning power to the states where the power belongs.
"States and local communities know what is best for them. They understand it. They get it. They have been doing it for a long time.
"It was taken away from them and not handled well."
Trump then praised the coal miners who attended the ceremony.
"They love the job," the president said. "That's what their job is. I fully understand that.
"We are with you 100 percent," he said. "We will put our miners back to work.
"I want to thank the miners. My guys, they don't get enough thanks.
"These people haven't had enough thanks," Trump said. "They have had a hard time for a long time."
Trump's actions brought mixed reactions from some federal and state lawmakers:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.