President Trump boasted about his aggressive environmental deregulatory agenda Tuesday, saying he’s put an end to the “war” on American energy and coal.
“We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal,” Trump declared in his first State of the Union, eliciting applause from some attendees in the House chamber.
Trump, his Cabinet and his allies have frequently labeled former President Obama’s environmental policies as a war on coal or on American energy.
Thousands of coal-industry workers, for example, lost their jobs under Obama, which was due mainly to competition from cheap energy sources like natural gas and renewables. Some forms of energy, like oil, gas and renewables, thrived under Obama.
Nonetheless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Interior Department and other agencies have aggressively worked to roll back or change Obama-era rules, in the name of increasing use and production of domestic energy.
That includes the Clean Power Plan, the moratorium on coal-mining leases on federal land, royalty regulations, a rule on mine cleanups and coal ash disposal standards, among others.
Environmentalists see the rollbacks as dangerous to public health and the environment. The League of Conservation Voters, for example, gave Trump an “F” for his first year.
Numerous forms of energy, like oil and coal, have seen production rise during Trump’s first year.