President Donald Trump’s administration announced Tuesday that it will eliminate the EPA’s green energy program, ending a key cornerstone of the president’s signature energy plan that environmentalists have long derided as a giveaway to fossil fuel companies.
The move, which Trump announced during his first major speech of the new year, is an assault on the environment and is “not just a bad idea but a dangerous one,” the White House said in a statement.
The EPA is the only agency tasked with protecting the nation’s environment from the effects of pollution.
The decision is an example of the administration’s increasing use of executive action, with many of the orders aimed at cutting down on government regulations.
The Trump administration has so far eliminated nearly 2,000 EPA regulations, which the agency said are costing the nation $100 billion a year.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the cuts would be permanent, but it is unclear how long the cuts will last.
Trump announced Tuesday morning that he had decided to “begin a comprehensive review of the EPA program,” which is a cornerstone of his efforts to undo President Barack Obama’s climate change policies.
Pruitt said in the statement that the “long-overdue” review would “continue until there is a complete and fair reopening of the program.”
Pruitt said he would “use all the tools available to me to achieve that objective.”
He did not specify what those tools were.
Trump has said the EPA is under attack by fossil fuel interests and he has vowed to roll back environmental regulations to reduce carbon pollution.
Pruitt was appointed to the position in January after Trump named him to head the EPA.
He had previously served as head of the state department of environment and sustainable development under Obama.
In the last several weeks, Trump has tried to use executive orders to rollback environmental regulations.
His first action was to rescind the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which was designed to cut carbon emissions from power plants and cut methane emissions from the atmosphere.
Trump said that he wanted to “repeal and replace” the rule.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pruitt’s actions.
Pruitt also announced on Tuesday that he was ending the Obama administration’s moratorium on coal mining in the West.
The administration announced that the coal mining moratorium would end after 2020.
The U.S. has the world’s largest coal reserves, and it is a critical source of energy for the U.N. and other international organizations.
Coal production has been declining in recent years, and many communities have struggled to adapt to the impact of climate change and rising sea levels.
Pruitt’s announcement came as Trump met with business leaders in the White the day after announcing his intent to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, which he said was not “negotiated in good faith.”
The Paris agreement is a United Nations treaty that aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Pruitt has said that his administration will be able to meet the goals of the Paris agreement while cutting emissions, but that the Trump administration’s climate agenda is a “disaster” for the country.
The president has said he will not pursue a carbon tax in the coming years, instead seeking to reduce the use of fossil fuels by 50 percent by 2025.