By: Eric Ransom
President Trump signed an executive order that would roll back Obama’s energy plans which combated climate change and limited power plant emissions.
Trump’s order will attempt to reverse the policies in the Clean Power Plan, enacted by President Obama in 2015, which helped to limit the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from coal burning power plants. The new 45th President of the United States made it a point that reversing these Obama era policies are in an effort to “end the war on coal” and “create American jobs.”
At his signing, Trump said “My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth. We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country.”
New EPA director, Scott Pruitt, said of the order: “The President is keeping his promise to the American people,” and that “this is about making sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach to how we do regulation.”
Upon a closer look at this executive order, Trump would cut back the restrictions on coal burning power plants, push for the removal of limiting hydraulic fracking and roll back Obama’s Climate Action Plan which targeted carbon emissions.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan intends to thwart the deadly pollution threatening the United States and the globe. The EPA states that “when the Clean Power Plan is fully in place in 2030, carbon pollution from the power sector will be 32 percent below 2005 levels.” Projections like these would surely be altered if Trump’s order were to go through, but won’t as of yet.
Despite Trump’s executive order to the replace the Clean Power Plan, its review will take at least a year before anything is put into law.
A major impact of this executive order would be the blow it deals to the Paris Agreement of 2015, which in conjunction with world leaders, sought to reduce global pollution as a whole, especially in the United States and China.
Both Trump and Pruitt seem to be against this: Pruitt calls the Paris Agreement “a bad deal,” and Trump is considering taking the U.S out of this agreement entirety.
This is not the first time President Trump has pushed forth an executive order involving the environment: he ordered the advancement of the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines which Obama had halted. Both heavily protested, these pipelines were rejected by President Obama due to his emphasis on progressing to clean energy.
According to NASA and the NOAA, 2016 was the warmest year on record for global average temperature, and has been topped over the last three years. Just in the United States alone, the Co2 emissions in 2011 were the second highest only to China, and ahead of third place to Russia.
One of the strongest opposers of Trump’s plan is House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who stated at a press conference in March that the order is “Shocking, almost sinful, really sinful to be so degrading of God’s creation.”