EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday that President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday that will begin to undo the "Clean Power Plan", a major initiative of the Obama administration to deal with climate change by reducing carbon pollution from power plants.
When pressed on whether the new executive order would face court challenges, Pruitt said he isn't anxious about potential legal ramifications.
Even Pruitt, during congressional testimony before last year's election and his appointment to EPA, made it clear that his view was that low-cost natural gas - not government regulations - was the central factor in coal's decline.
The centerpiece of Trump's plan is an effort to slow walk Obama's Clean Power Plan, which restricts emissions from coal-fired power plants. "And the executive order's going to address the past administration's effort to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan".
U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the timing yesterday on ABC's "This Week". The coming order underscores Trump's commitment to make good on his campaign promises, which helped propel him to victory in industrial strongholds such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Pruitt told Stephanopoulos that he thought eliminating the CPP would bring coal and manufacturing jobs back across the country.
Trumpcare doesn't have the votes right now
When asked if the vote will even be held on Thursday, as President Trump and Speaker Ryan have promised, Rep. Ryan said he and the Trump administration "came very close, but we did not get that consensus".
But Trump's climate skepticism has struck a chord with many Republican voters.
The details shared with Bloomberg News reflected the latest draft of the White House order and could change before the announcement, which Pruitt said would happen Tuesday.
The "Energy Independence Executive Order" is created to relax regulations on power plants, while the Trump administration will also review fuel efficiency standards for cars.
Trump's order would also signal further evidence that federal lawyers are unlikely to fight for the plan in court, leaving environmental groups and other organizations to wage its legal defense by themselves. "The CPP is not tethered to the Paris accords".
But it's been on hold since a year ago. "You know, this process of building cars that no one purchases in order to meet these standards that were previously set actually is counter-helpful to the environment, because people don't buy the new cars".
He continued, "They didn't have to take steps until 2030. But we're trying to focus on getting things right here domestically and making sure that we operate within the framework of the CAA". Scientists say we must not surpass that range if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change.