Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Scott Pruitt said the Trump administration plans to roll back the Clean Power Plan put in place by former President Barack Obama.
Pruitt said President Donald Trump is posed to sign an executive order on March 28 that will promote domestic oil, coal and natural gas by decreasing restrictions and limits enforced by the Obama administration that were designed to combat climate change.
"We've made tremendous progress on our environment, and we can be both pro-jobs and pro-environment," Pruitt told ABC News. "And the executive order's going to address the past administration's effort to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan."
Trump's policy has been decried by critics who say it prioritizes corporate profits over public health and the environment.
"He’s trying to undo more than a decade of progress in fighting climate change and protecting public health," said David Doniger, director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in an email to Bloomberg. "But nobody voted to abandon America’s leadership in climate action and the clean-energy revolution. This radical retreat will meet a great wall of opposition."
Pruitt maintains that the Trump administration can protect the environment and add jobs at the same time.
"This is about making sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach to how we do regulation in this country," Pruitt told ABC News.
Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on August 3, 2015, which was described in a Environmental Protection Agency press release as a "historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change."
"There is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change," Obama said when he announced the plan, according to Scientific American. "The science tells us we have to do more."
The plan was criticized by conservatives for being too radical, but was also criticized by environmentalists as not going far enough, although there was substantial praise for the climate rule being a step in the right direction, according to Politico.
Among the main goals of the Clean Power Plan was to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants at a rate of 90 percent by 2030.
Although the Trump administration appears to be focused on scrapping the Clean Power Plan, there is a possibility such a move will bring legal challenges.
But Pruitt said that is not a concern for Trump.
"This Clean Power Plan is something that the Supreme Court, as you know, has said is likely unlawful," he said. "And so there's been a stay against this Clean Power Plan. So our actions, starting on Tuesday, shortly after the executive order, will make sure that whatever steps we take in the future will be pro-growth, pro-environment, but within the framework of the Clean Air Act, and it will be legal."