President Donald Trump’s executive order rolling back environmental standards put in place during the Obama administration was quickly met with opposition Tuesday from local Democratic lawmakers, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The executive order signed by Trump seeks to eliminate the Clean Power Plan, which requires electricity companies to reduce their emissions, and rescinds several other Obama-era executive orders aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
“President Trump’s moves today to undo the Clean Power Plan and roll back other key climate policies undermine the important efforts — throughout the country and the world — to tackle the single greatest threat and economic opportunity of our time: climate change,” Garcetti said.
Despite Trump’s order, Garcetti said he will keep moving forward with his own environmental initiatives.
“No matter what happens in Washington, we will work to meet our Sustainable City pLAn goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, move toward zero emissions transportation and pursue our vision of a 100 percent clean energy future. Los Angeles has also divested from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will be completely coal-free by 2025,” Garcetti said.
Trump said his order is aimed at prioritizing the economy and getting rid of unneccesary regulations.
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We are going to have clean coal. Really clean coal,” Trump said in a speech before signing the executive order. “With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restriction on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and cancel job-killing regulations.”
Trump said his order will “eliminate federal overreach and allow our workers to thrive, compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused Trump of “ignoring the threat of climate change,” which will damage the U.S. economy.
“The president’s order will leave the United States far behind our competitors in developing new, cleaner fuel sources,” Feinstein said. “The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change is real and man-made. The White House and congressional Republicans need to accept that fact. Republican leaders shouldn’t be trying to undermine the progress we’ve made in order to satisfy their ideological aversion to reality.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said the county will continue to push for clean energy jobs and work on reducing the effects of pollution.
“Despite the onslaught of White House executive orders attempting to unravel the protections put in place by previous administrations to clean our air, reduce greenhouse gases and create new long-term job growth, we in Southern California will not back down,” Kuehl said. “We will continue to move aggressively to improve our environment, reduce the grave health consequences of pollution on Southern Californians and create new jobs in new, clean energy industries. In California, we are building a new clean energy future, rather than clinging to an outdated and polluted past.”
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former Los Angeles-area congressman, joined with other attorneys general to announce opposition to the order, saying they would not hesitate the challenge the action in court.
“I grew up knowing that I could drink clean water and breathe clean air,” Becerra said. “I want every parent to be able to say the same thing for their children. That’s what makes a place worth living in, and that’s worth fighting for.”
— City News Service
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