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Trump to target Obama's climate initiatives: White House website

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's administration is committed to eliminating Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan and other environmental initiatives to help boost the oil and gas industry, according to a statement posted on the White House website on Friday.

The announcement echoed pledges Trump frequently made during his campaign to become U.S. president, but their appearance on the White House website makes them his official policy. (http://bit.ly/2iK2JQp)

"President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years," the website said.

All references to climate change appeared to have been removed from the White House website, a word search showed.

Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday.

Former President Obama's climate plan proposed cuts to U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, in part by preserving forests and encouraging increased use of cleaner renewable fuels.

Trump has expressed skepticism about whether human activity drives climate change, and he has railed against Obama's efforts to combat it by targeting carbon dioxide emissions.

Trump has also suggested he could pull the United States out of a climate pact agreed by nearly 200 nations.

The statement on the White House website said that Trump's efforts to boost the U.S. oil and gas sector would help increase government revenues to "rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure," and lower the price of energy.

The statement said Trump's administration would free the nation from dependence on foreign oil, and was "committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America's coal industry, which has been hurting for too long."

An overwhelming majority of scientists say the burning of coal, oil and gas is a driver of global climate change, causing sea level rise and more frequent violent storms.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Richard Valdmanis, Jeffrey Benkoe and Daniel Wallis)

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