April 22 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump renewed his pledge to eliminate "unnecessary and harmful regulations" in an Earth Day message released by the White House on Sunday.
Trump said "a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand" adding that "a strong, market-driven economy" is essential to protecting environmental resources such as "clean air, land, and water."
"For this reason, my Administration is dedicated to removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth and make it more difficult for local communities to prosper and to choose the best solutions for their environment," Trump said.
Trump praised his administration's effort to "cut the red tape of regulation" in December after announcing agencies issued 67 deregulatory actions while imposing only three new regulatory actions within his first year as president.
"Already, we are making great economic progress in concert withnot in opposition toprotecting our environment," Trump said Sunday.
In April, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt also announced plans to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles mandating an increase in fuel economy for all domestic vehicles to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
The decision was met with resistance by attorneys general from Vermont, New York and California, who described the roll back as an illegal attack on improved greenhouse gas standards for automobiles. They argued those standards are meant to save consumers money on fuel through improved efficiency.
The United States also gave the United Nations notice of its intent to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement in August after Trump announced plans to back out of it June 1.
The 195-nation pact, which Trump referred to as a "bad deal" for the U.S. economy, sets out stringent standards to restrict carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases that scientists say contribute to global warming.