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Trump brings the hammer down on climate policies

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order undoing his predecessor’s climate policies and regulations, ensuring America would become dirtier as it became “richer.”

From Reuters via NYT (“Trump Signs Order Dismantling Obama-Era Climate Policies“):

Flanked by coal miners and coal company executives, Trump proclaimed his “Energy Independence” executive order at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The move drew swift backlash from a coalition of 23 states and local governments, as well as environmental groups, which called the decree a threat to public health and vowed to fight it in court.

The order’s main target is former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants – a key factor in the United States’ ability to meet its commitments under a climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

Trump’s decree also reverses a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions. Carbon dioxide and methane are two of the main greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for heating the earth.

“I am taking historic steps to lift restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations,” Trump said at the EPA. …

The wide-ranging order is the boldest yet in Trump’s broader push to cut environmental regulation to revive the drilling and mining industries, a promise he made repeatedly during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Energy analysts and executives have questioned whether the moves will have a big effect on their industries, and environmentalists have called them reckless.

Here’s what the story had to say about the Trump administration and the Paris climate accord.

An overwhelming majority of scientists believe that human use of oil and coal for energy is a main driver of climate change, causing a damaging rise in sea levels, droughts and more frequent violent storms.

But Trump and several members of his administration have doubts about climate change, and Trump promised during his campaign to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, arguing it would hurt U.S. business.

Since being elected, Trump has been mum on the Paris deal and the executive order does not address it.

Read the whole thing.

Tue, March 28 2017 » * Big Picture Stuff, Main Page