WASHINGTON – Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, and 30 other Democratic senators have introduced a bill to rescind President Donald Trump’s executive order that reversed Obama-era initiatives to combat climate change.
The bill, the Clean Air, Healthy Kids Act, would block all federal agencies from implementing actions from Trump’s executive order.
“This Administration is not operating in reality,” said Bennet in a news release. “It is operating in the theater of the absurd, where policies have no relationships to problems, facts don’t matter, and false promises to struggling Americans are just another political tactic to win a cable news cycle.”
The executive order, titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” requires all federal agencies to review regulations that “potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources” and suspend, revise or rescind those regulations that “unduly burden” the development of these resources.
Among the regulations impacted was the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and multiple climate action plans.
Trump also lifted a moratorium on federal land coal leasing activities and other Department of Interior rules. The Interior Department rules were lifted Wednesday in a signing ceremony attended by 3rd Congressional District Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez.
“I am glad that the administration is taking action to grow jobs and preserve hardworking Americans’ access to affordable and reliable energy. I look forward to advancing more policies that support an all-of-the-above approach to U.S. energy,” Tipton said in a news release.
Bennet and nine other Democratic senators from Western states also sent a letter to Trump urging him to rescind his executive order.
“We are concerned that it will harm the economy in our Western states, diminish job opportunities in rural communities, exacerbate public health concerns, jeopardize our natural places, and make our country less secure,” the letter said.
The letter from the 10 Western senators said that the “Executive Order takes the nation in the wrong direction.”
In a speech on the floor of the Senate, Bennet said, “Colorado led the way in developing a common-sense approach to expanding energy production while enduring clean air and a healthy planet. ... If the president was serious about energy independence, he would support our approach.”
Bennet said that there is a “false choice between our economy and environment,” a choice that President Trump appears to have made.
Shira Stein is a reporting intern for The Durango Herald in Washington, D.C., and a student at American University. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @stein_shira.