Keeping another campaign pledge, President Donald Trump signed the Energy Independence executive order today that rescinds, reviews, or freezes nearly half a dozen Obama-era rules. The order's primary goal is to boost domestic energy production related to oil, natural gas, and coal while removing massive regulatory roadblocks. That, Trump remarked, will grow our economy, bring back jobs, and create an energy revolution.

In various interviews, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said President Trump was setting a new course that was both pro-jobs and pro-environment.

Pruitt noted for far too long, the EPA has been picking certain industries to win while placing other sectors into the crosshairs of the agency’s regulatory guns. He said that was no longer going to happen.

One rule that’s getting scrutiny is the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which placed strict limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. The Executive Order (EO) initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which has been under ongoing legal challenges from both states and industry. Trump had campaigned the rules were killing American manufacturing jobs by giving other countries an unfair advantage.

War on coal over

A White House spokesperson reiterated Trump’s commitment to clean air, land, and water, stating the CPP was created to unfairly place coal-fired power plants at a disadvantage.

Indeed, since the CPP’s rollout, energy-producing companies pre-emptively began shutting down coal-fired plants under the assumption that the EPA would prevail. But the Clean Air Act already regulates this industry, making the CPP a biased tool to shutter coal plants.

The new EO also lifts a 14-month freeze on new coal leases on federal lands.

The Obama administration said the suspension was in response to making the program fiscally beneficial to taxpayers and fighting climate change. After eight years of regulations, entire swathes of America have been devastated by lost jobs and opportunities. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, "Coal jobs were the best jobs" at the signing ceremony.

The new EO also scraps language about the social cost of carbon and initiates further reviews on efforts to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas extraction, and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Other Obama-era orders and memos overturned by the new order included some addressing global warming’s effect on national security and preparing the country for the impacts of climate change.

A dramatic shift

Scott Pruitt’s predecessor, Gina McCarthy, condemned the Trump administration of sending “us back to when smokestacks damaged our health and polluted our air.” She said in a statement it was “embarrassing to us on a global scale.” Contrary to those statements, the U.S.

has relied on the Clean Air Act and is a global leader when it comes to curbing pollution. And it had nothing to do with the EPA’s deluge of new regulations but rather new technologies.

Prior to Obama’s election, air, land, and water quality was the same as it is today. A White House spokesperson said the president believes in global warming and none of Obama’s efforts would have made a measurable difference on the climate. It’s still unclear if the Trump administration will formally withdraw from the U.N.-backed Paris Climate Agreement. Those most affected by Obama's regulations were in attendance, including coal miners.