On March 28, President Donald Trump signed the Energy Independence Policy Executive Order that directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back some elements of President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan. These are Mr. Trump's first steps in reducing environmental regulations in order to stimulate job creation and business investment specifically within the coal industry.
We believe economic rather than regulatory factors are responsible for the decline of the coal industry.
The day after Mr. Trump signed the executive order, Insight executives met with representatives of six large utility companies that provide energy throughout the U.S. All said that the CPP, and/or a reduced regulatory burden, will not affect current plans either to shut down old coal plants or to continue pursuing renewable alternatives. Many are under pressure from investors and clients to introduce clean energy strategies or services, and at present the U.S. remains committed to reducing overall carbon emissions in keeping with the Paris Agreement. It remains unclear whether the administration will go further to rescind or change existing measures and regulations, such as subsidies, carbon emission targets and carbon regulations.