By Michael GoodwinA week after a series of leaked emails revealed that Trump aides had urged then-President Donald Trump to scrap the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, and weeks before he made his first public appearance since taking office, Trump and his advisers are taking a hard line on the new administration’s climate change agenda.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to repeal and replace the Clean Power Act, and now, as president, Trump has taken the opposite position.
On Wednesday, he told reporters in the Rose Garden that he was committed to removing the EPA’s rule that requires coal-fired power plants to reduce their carbon emissions, and he said he wanted the U.S. to leave the Paris climate accord, which was signed by the Obama administration in 2015.
On Tuesday, a new administration email said Trump and the EPA had decided to drop their fight over the Clean Energy Act, or COA, which is meant to combat climate change.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the legislation as a waste of taxpayer money, saying that its “costs are astronomical.”
“In the coming weeks, we will have more on the COA,” the message said.
The message, which did not appear in the leaked emails, was obtained by Politico.”COA is the worst of the bad bills that Obama, the Democrats, and Republicans have put forth, and the real problem is that the American people are paying the price,” the email said.
“COA does not protect Americans from climate change, it just makes things more expensive.
COA has not saved American families and businesses from the ravages of climate change.”
The email said the administration was “exploring ways to move forward with COA without hurting our economy and creating needless regulatory burdens.”
The administration said it was taking steps to repeal the COAs Clean Power, Clean Water, and Air program, as well as the Carbon Tax, which has been blamed for driving up gas prices.
In December, the Trump administration also announced plans to scrap a tax on carbon emissions that was a key part of the climate change legislation signed by Obama in 2015, which would have increased the federal gas tax from the current $3.85 per gallon to $5 per gallon, a change that would have caused the price of gasoline to increase by about 10 cents.
The president’s aides also are taking more aggressive stances on climate change than they did a year ago.
Trump’s transition team issued a list of proposed climate change regulations on Wednesday, including the withdrawal of the Obama-era Clean Power plan, the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and efforts to reduce methane emissions from power plants.
Trump’s administration has also announced that it will no longer work with the International Energy Agency, the agency that studies climate change and is a key player in the Paris agreement.
The IEA, which represents about 30 nations, also is reviewing its position on the Paris accord.
The new administration has been taking a harder line on environmental issues than the Obama years, including withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, as President Barack Obama did in 2015 and withdrawing from a treaty that governs the U