Trump signs sweeping energy-saving rule with energy industry
President Donald Trump has signed sweeping energy policy reforms with the energy industry, including a new rule that would limit carbon emissions from power plants, and the signing of an executive order aimed at cutting methane emissions from oil and gas wells.
Trump made the moves on Thursday with the help of energy industry representatives in the Senate, who included Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the Republican chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The move comes amid an ongoing debate about the effects of climate change on the U.S. energy sector.
The administration is seeking to speed up the process for energy companies to submit bids for federal permits, which could be granted in the coming months.
In a sign of how fast the effort is moving, Trump has directed the EPA to set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by at least 40 percent by 2025.
The president also signed an executive action aimed at boosting the efficiency of the nation’s electricity grid by boosting the use of renewable energy.
He also signed a new executive order that would make it easier for states to use federal funds for energy efficiency standards and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The order also requires the Energy Department to work with the Department of Labor to study ways to reduce carbon pollution from coal plants.
In addition, Trump signed an order that sets a goal for carbon emissions at the nation, but leaves the door open to lower standards if there is a need to do so.
In January, the administration proposed a rule that aimed to reduce greenhouse gases from power plant operations.
Trump has said the EPA’s proposal would be the “most aggressive” on greenhouse gas pollution in the country’s history, but the proposal was not final.
It is now expected to be approved by the Trump administration.
In his order, Trump directed the agency to review regulations on methane, a greenhouse gas that is generated when natural gas is burned and is linked to methane pollution in rivers, lakes and oceans.
Methane is also linked to acid rain, which can cause severe water quality problems in some places.
The new rules will make it more difficult for coal-fired power plants to emit methane, and also require the Environmental Protection Agency to establish standards for methane leaks from new power plants.
The rules also aim to cut carbon pollution by up to 60 percent by 2030.
The Trump administration also wants to cut methane emissions by 25 percent from the country by 2025, by directing the EPA and the Department, Energy and Interior to work on ways to “make it easier to develop and build new natural gas-fired plants and new natural-gas transmission lines.”
“We are taking a major step forward in reducing methane pollution from power generation,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a statement.
The EPA has been working to develop methane standards for power plants for decades, and in the new executive orders, the agency also will seek to boost methane pollution regulations at the federal level.
In the past, the Trump White House has sought to reduce methane pollution, arguing that the emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels are responsible for most of the global warming caused by global warming.