The Trump administration’s recent executive order, intended to slap down the climate-change programs initiated by Barack Obama, is a spiteful affront of the Environmental Protection Agency.
On close examination the order doesn’t make any sense. Here is why:
Trump revoked about half of Obama’s climate executive orders but left the other half in place. Since the orders are intertwined – no one knows what applies.
Trump can’t simply wipe out the Clean Power Plan because, as a result of a 2007 ruling, the Supreme Court has declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant, and therefore the E.P.A. must regulate it.
The Defense Department has been worried about climate change for decades. It has taken many steps toward confronting the issue, culminating in a 2014 roadmap for climate action.
Trump cannot disband the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon and consigning its entire works to the pit of hell. The executive order explicitly tells federal agencies to disregard the costs of carbon dioxide. Nevertheless, the first thing the new regulators will have to do is figure out the costs of carbon dioxide. It is a nightmare!
Fracking has made natural gas extremely cheap, and a whole lot of old coal plants are being replaced for economic reasons. Costs for solar and wind power have fallen even faster—a point driven home by the Sierra Club’s hugely successful Beyond Coal campaign.
Tell our members of Congress and all elected officials:
“We stand with millions of Americans in opposing President Trump’s Executive Order slap-down on climate-change programs. The EPA has an obligation to address carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan provides a fair, flexible, and achievable strategy, which empowers states to clean up power plants through a combination of efficiency improvements and clean energy deployments. We need to strengthen these programs not gut them! We only have one planet, Earth!
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