Pending Executive Order Targets Key Pillars Of Obama’s Climate Agenda

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The White House is preparing an executive order targeting Obama-era climate policies that goes “far beyond” what’s been previously reported, a source familiar with the plan told Bloomberg.

Reports initially suggested President Donald Trump will sign an order to withdraw an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and a Department of the Interior moratorium on new coal mining leases.

A source told Bloomberg’s Jennifer Dlouhy the White House will order federal agencies to reconsider the “social cost of carbon” estimate relied upon by the Obama administration to justify tougher environmental regulations.

Trump will also withdraw an Obama-era executive guidance instructing federal agencies to incorporate global warming into environmental reviews. Under the order, agencies had to account for individual projects’ contributions to global warming.

Trump’s sweeping executive order could be issued in the coming days, Dlouhy reports, though the White House says there’s “nothing to announce at this time.”

The order is just one of many Trump will use to “cancel job-killing restrictions” on energy domestic production, including coal mining. The president garnered support from coal country on his promise to revive areas crushed by Obama-era environmental policies.

Trump promised to repeal the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule, which limits CO2 emissions from power plants.

The CPP, which was stayed by the Supreme Court in 2016, effectively prevents new coal plants from being built unless they use costly emissions control technology, and it is expected to force older coal plants to prematurely retire.

Sources have already indicated Trump plans to repeal the CPP and an Interior Department coal mining moratorium as part of their strategy to help the ailing coal industry.

Trump already issued an order to review the “waters of the U.S” rule being challenged in court by 32 states. The CPP is being challenged by 28 states, but both those cases may be rendered moot by Trump’s orders.

What’s unclear is if Trump will go even further and challenge the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding that gave the agency the legal over it need to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

What is likely, however, is that Trump’ order will have no mention of the Paris agreement that went into effect November 2016. The United Nations agreement signed by former President Barack Obama commits the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

Ivanka Trump and her husband intervened to strip the pending order of language critical of the Paris global warming pact, despite Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the agreement.

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