By John Siciliano
March 6, 2017 - President Trump plans to sign an executive order this week that scraps two major Obama energy and climate regulations in one fell swoop.
The presidential executive order aims to roll back the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's climate agenda, and the Interior Department's moratorium on new coal mining leases, which Trump has vowed to quash during his first 100 days in office.
A White House spokeswoman told the Washington Examiner that the president plans to combine the rollback of the regulations into the "same action" later this week.
The order is expected to begin the process whereby the Environmental Protection Agency will reconsider the Clean Power Plan climate rules, with the goal of having the plan rescinded.
A panel of 10 judges at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has been reviewing the legality of the Clean Power Plan, which the Supreme Court halted in February 2016. The Trump order is also expected to address the court action, most likely by instructing the Justice Department to inform the court of its actions and ask the judges to consider the president's order as it makes a decision.
Environmental groups are expected to sue the administration over any actions to reverse the climate regulations.
The Clean Power Plan requires states to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by one-third over the next decade. A coalition of nearly 28 state attorneys general and hundreds of advocacy groups sued the agency over the regulation, saying it oversteps the EPA's authority to regulate power plant emissions while calling it unconstitutional.
Lifting the coal moratorium may be a little more straightforward.
The moratorium was imposed by the Obama administration last year, while the Interior Department conducted a review of its leasing program to update it with the true costs of coal mining, including the costs that come from coal's effects on global warming, which is expected to raise the cost of coal mining.