Trump to Rescind Obama Climate Orders with EO on Energy Independence

Obama, Tump Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump will roll out a new executive order on Tuesday that eliminates several Obama-era climate change orders in favor of policies centered on energy independence.

A senior administration official said that the coming EO will review some and take other Obama executive orders “off the books immediately to the extent we can,” while also looking forward to providing a “beginning framework for a strategy on energy.” Under the new order, each executive department and agency in the U.S. government will be responsible for identifying impediments to energy production.

Energy policy under the order will stay in line with the President’s desire for U.S. energy independence and return the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to its core mission. The new order establishes the Trump Administration’s approach to climate change.

Former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which has been tied up in the courts, will be reviewed and possibly find itself on the chopping block in Trump’s new order. There is not a time frame for review of the Clean Power Plan, but the official predicted that there would be court challenges regarding that aspect of the EO. The new rule from the Clean Air Act will also be reviewed.

The Interior Department-imposed coal moratorium will also be rescinded, according to the official.

The official listed Obama Administration Presidential memorandums, including the 2013 Climate Action Plan, among what will be rescinded, “…that obviously will be going away.” A total of about six executive orders and memorandums will be rescinded.

The official stated that there would be policies related to the National Environmental Policy Act. Guidance on climate change published by the Council on Environmental Quality last August will be rescinded. The senior administration official added that there would be language on the “social cost of greenhouse gases.” Carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide were specifically mentioned.

“The previous Administration put out its own estimates, not in a very transparent fashion, in a fashion that we believe violates the longstanding OMB policies.” Those will no longer stand as a result, the official added. Regulations related to methane production at EPA and the Bureau of Land Management will be reviewed to see if they “reflect the policy priority that’s outlined at the beginning of the order.”

The Administration is looking at all energy options including nuclear, renewables, clean coal, natural gas, “all of it,” the official said.

Questions regarding the Administration’s stance on the Paris climate agreement were denied as the Administration continues to discuss it.

The coal industry can expect to see review of coal policies and potential rescinding of some Obama Administration policies. The official said that President Trump, “is gonna do whatever he can to help those workers.” The official continued, “There are a lot of different portions that conspire to affect” the coal industry.

“The Clean Power Plan was designed to address Climate Change. You look at EPA’s own numbers, they even admitted that in terms of how it’s going to impact global temperatures, it’s not,” said the official. “I think there are plenty of rules on the books already. We will continue to enforce that provide for clean air and clean water.” The official said that’s the core mission of EPA that the President wants them to stick to.

A strong growing economy is among the best ways to protect the environment, the official said.

“The previous administration devalued workers by their policies,” the official continued. “We’re saying we can do both, we can protect the environment and provide people with work and keep the economy growing.”

The official stated that the President is “not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the U.S. economy at risk. It’s very simple.”

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