Restoring reason to environment and energy policies

It is going to take time — years, in all probability — to undo the enormous amount of damage President Barack Obama did to the economy. Some of it is irreparable.

At least President Donald Trump and his new Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt, are wasting no time in restoring reason to energy and environmental policy.

Trump set the stage with his Energy Independence executive order. Pruitt picked up the ball and ran with it.

Merely understanding the depth of the Obama administration’s assault on America’s energy independence and on affordable electricity is difficult. A look at four actions taken by Pruitt during the past few weeks provides some idea of the task.

Pruitt signed notices that the EPA will review and, if appropriate, revise or rescind Obama-era rules on both air and water quality, on fuel economy standards for vehicles, on approval of chemicals for use in industry and on a variety of other initiatives launched during the previous eight years.

In effect, the Obama EPA would have made it nearly impossible to mine coal, to build new power plants using it, or even to keep existing ones open. The agency also would have come down hard on the burgeoning natural gas industry.

Obviously, the environment should be protected. But that was not Obama’s agenda. His plan amounted to no less than destroying the nation’s reasonably priced energy economy.

So wide-ranging was the assault that it will take some time to reverse it.

Trump and Pruitt should not relax their focus on doing that.

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