February 22, 2017
President Trump is planning to issue executive orders this week to begin rolling back the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change agenda with several other regulations.
Trump is expected to soon issue the orders targeting regulations put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the Clean Power Plan, which directs states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
The EPA climate plan was halted a year ago by the Supreme Court until the courts can rule on litigation by 28 state attorneys general, the coal industry and hundreds of individual companies and industry groups.
The order is expected to direct the agency to redo the climate change rule, which would be different from asking the agency to rescind the regulation altogether. Ultimately, direction on what to do about the greenhouse gas rule will have to come from the courts.
But Trump isn’t planning on stopping there. The president also will issue a separate order targeting the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule, which greatly expanded the agency’s jurisdiction over waterways to include everything from major waterways to drainage ponds on private lands. Both the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. Rule have been long-time targets of the Republican Party.
Reports also say to expect a third Trump action to end the Department of Interior’s moratorium on new coal mining leases put in place by the Obama administration.
EPA officials told Reuters that they were told to expect the executive actions shortly after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was confirmed, but the exact timing of the orders is unknown.
Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in as the nation’s 14th EPA administrator. He addressed EPA employees briefly Tuesday during his first full day as as head of the agency.