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Trump to lift federal coal ban and other green rules

President Trump will target several of Obama’s green regulations, one of which will be a federal coal mining ban and an initiative forcing states to reduce carbon emissions. This could all take place as soon as next week, a White House official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Trump and his fellow Republicans are currently in control of Congress and are making an effort to un-do Democratic President Barack Obama’s initiatives to fight global climate change, which they think are costly for businesses within the U.S and have hampered drilling and mining, all 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 one of Obama’s largest initiatives put in place to fight climate change, it requires states to lower emissions of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately it was never put into play due to legal challenges launched by multiple Republican states.

According to legal experts, Trump could begin the process of ending the regulation by having the Environmental Protection Agency ask the courts to return it to the agency for review. Doing so would effectively end its legal defense.

Ending the coal mining ban would be much more simple. Trump could easily 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 hindered development.

Trump has retracted several 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.

Article written by HEI contributor Lydia Ezeakor.

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