The largest U.S. business lobby is excited President Donald Trump will sign an executive order to repeal much of Obama’s environmental legacy.
“This is something we are eagerly anticipating,” Christopher Guith, vice president for energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It addresses many overreaches of the previous administration. It starts the process by which agencies can create sane and sound regulations.”
Trump’s order will get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revisit Obama’s Clean Power Plan, alter the previous administration’s environmental permitting process, and rework the government’s “social cost of carbon.” Rolling back these rules and regulations should get the U.S. closer to energy independence and spur job growth.
“The order give EPA premise to revisit the Clean Power Plan [CPP] which was unworkable,” Guith said “This isn’t about crippling the CPP, it is about making a system which actually works. This will ultimately bring about more carbon dioxide emissions reduction than Obama’s plan would and will do it without the economic devastation.”
If implemented, CPP would have cost a staggering $41 billion annually, which equates to about $10.74 a month for each American. Less than 39 percent of Americans would be willing to spend that level of extra cash to fight global warming, according to a poll. The Clean Power Plan would have only adverted 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected, according to analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute using models created by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Trump’s executive order will also change how the federal government interprets the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will make it easier for companies, individuals and government entities to get environmental permits. President Obama changed the way the government interpreted the act in a way which made permitting very difficult
“The guidance that the Obama administration put out without going through any sort of rulemaking will also be addressed,” Guith told TheDCNF. “This was a godsend for environmental lawyers as they could sue the federal government for any previous projects which addressed greenhouse gases. Rolling back the unilateral action on NEPA permitting reviews by the Obama administration will change that.”
The other major impact of Trump’s order is to shift the way government agencies measure carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
“When the Obama administration was trying to justify regulations that would cost the economy tens of billions of dollars they created this process called the Social Cost of Carbon,” Guith concluded. “The Trump administration has said that this isn’t how we do cost benefit analysis. We don’t just invent them. This was used to justify regulations which cost tens of billions of dollars and claim they were saving money.”
EPA previously used the Social Cost of Carbon to claim CPP created billions of dollars in economic benefits from reducing carbon dioxide emissions, allowing the agency to significantly overstate the benefits of the regulation.
Free market groups were also pleased by the executive order, as it will significantly reduce regulation.
“President Trump’s Executive Order on withdrawing much of President Obama’s climate and energy-rationing agenda is welcome news for the American people,” Myron Ebell, director of energy and environment at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute and Trump’s former EPA transition head, said in a press statement. “These rules, which are clearly illegal, would raise electric rates for consumers significantly and do immense economic damage to the heartland states where U. S. manufacturing is now concentrated.”
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