Trump Signs Executive Order To Dismantle Obama-Era Climate Change Policies

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump visited the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to sign another executive order – one that takes aim at several Obama-era climate policies.

Mr. Trump hailed it as “the start of a new era in American energy production” in remarks before signing the Energy Independence executive order.

The White House said the executive order directs the EPA to suspend, revise or rescind the Clean Power Plan which limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants.

The executive order also mandates that every agency conducts an 180-day review that identifies all regulations and rules that “impede” energy production. Trump plans to use the reports to craft his administration’s “America First” energy blueprint to serve what the administration calls the “twin goal” of protecting the environment and strengthening the economy by promoting energy production, according to CBS News.

The executive order also lifts the moratorium on federal coal leasing, rescinds restrictions on hydraulic fracking and eliminates the National Environmental Policy Act, a set of guidelines for agencies to consider climate change into their decision-making process.

“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal – going to have clean coal, really clean coal,” Trump declared.

Critics have argued that the president’s anti-climate change initiatives, that resist transitioning from coal and gas to clean energy, will, in fact, hurt the economy.

Early Tuesday morning, the president took to Twitter to herald another “big” announcement.

Trump has held several meetings at the White House with auto executives since taking office that often included Ford chief executive Mark Fields.

It is not known if those meetings had any influence on Ford’s decision to invest in three auto plants.

Tuesday developments come as questions about Russia continue to dog Trump’s administration.

In a late night rant on Monday, Trump took to social media to suggest that the House Intelligence Committee should investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s alleged ties to Russia.

The claims were nothing news for Trump. During the campaign, he was quoted as saying, “Hillary Clinton gave them 20 percent of our uranium — gave Russia for a big payment.”

That claim was widely debunked by the The Washington Post. It concluded that Clinton’s State Department was merely one of nine other agencies on a committee that was responsible for approving a Russian state-owned nuclear energy agency’s purchase of the US’s 20% uranium extraction capacity and that there was no evidence that Clinton was personally involved in the deal.

The late night rant came amid growing calls from House Democrats that Republican Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, should recuse himself from its Russia probe into Trump associates.

“Enough question has been raised in the public about whether he can lead a credible investigation in this,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D – CA.

Nunes has acknowledged he had a secret meeting with an unidentified source on White House grounds last week during which he says he viewed highly classified documents about Trump’s surveillance claims. He then briefed the president about it before talking to members of his own committee:

The development came on the same day the President’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by Senate lawmakers as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Kushner met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower during the transition. He also met with the head of a Russian bank who has deep ties to President Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence agencies:

A date for Kushner’s testimony has not been set.

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