Donald Trump Stops Obama Climate Change Measures

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US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to roll back his predecessor Barack Obama’s climate change measures.

The decree’s main target is former president Barack Obama’s clean power plan that required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants — a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

The “Energy Independence” Order 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.

Trump’s order also lifts the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management’s temporary ban on coal leasing on federal property put in place by Obama in 2016 as part of a review to study the program’s impact on climate change and ensure royalty revenues were fair to taxpayers.

It also asks federal agencies to discount the cost of carbon in policy decisions and the weight of climate change considerations in infrastructure permitting, and reverses rules limiting methane leakage from oil and gas facilities.

The order will direct the EPA to start a formal “review” process to undo the clean power plan, which was introduced by Obama in 2014 but was never implemented in part because of legal challenges brought by Republican-controlled states.

The plan required states to collectively cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Some 85 per cent of U.S. states are on track to meet the targets, despite the fact the rule has not been implemented, according to Bill Becker, director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, a group of state and local air pollution control agencies.

Trump’s order also lifts the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management’s temporary ban on coal leasing on federal property put in place by Obama in 2016 as part of a review to study the program’s impact on climate change and ensure royalty revenues were fair to taxpayers.

It also asks federal agencies to discount the cost of carbon in policy decisions and the weight of climate change considerations in infrastructure permitting, and reverses rules limiting methane leakage from oil and gas facilities.

The Executive Order directs all agencies to conduct a review of all regulations, rules, policies and guidance documents that put up roadblocks to domestic energy production and identify the ones that are not either mandated by law or actually contributing to the public good.

The order directs the EPA to take several actions to reflect this president’s environmental and economic goals, including a review of the new performance standards for coal- fired and natural gas-fired plants that amount to a de facto ban on new coal plant production in the US.