Trump Administration set to destroy Obama-era climate-environment-protection policies
March 28, 2017; Date:
Hugely Damaging to our Global Reputation and to Our Environment
Statements from WHRC President Dr. Philip B. Duffy and WHRC Senior Advisor Dr. John P. Holdren
FALMOUTH, MA (March 28, 2017) --
Statement from WHRC President Phil Duffy:
Great nations, like great individuals, lead by rallying others to work together to meet threats. The executive order issued today puts the United States in the disgraceful and disadvantageous position of being alone among 195 nations in not recognizing the pervasive threat of global climate change. As the Trump administration tries to pump life into a doomed fossil fuel industry, China is making exponentially increasing investments in renewable energy technologies. This will leave us at a competitive disadvantage when sanity returns to US policy and we seek to modernize our energy infrastructure.
The 2015 Paris Agreement is a remarkable statement of global consensus and cooperation about the grand challenge of climate change. The White House decision to isolate this country from the rest of the world is hugely damaging to our global reputation and to our environment. The global community will continue to move forward in addressing climate change even as the US administration labors to maintain an alternate universe based upon "alternative facts."
At WHRC, our work better defines the climate challenge by shedding light on critical thresholds and tipping points, and identifies and implements cost-effective mitigation strategies. We and the rest of the science and policy community are ready to work cooperatively with the administration to develop and implement fact-based policies that will protect our environmental health and prosperity.
Statement from WHRC Senior Advisor John Holdren:
President Trump's executive actions of today, which attempt to undermine progress made under President Obama to combat the menace of human-caused climate change, are yet another example of the new administration's propensity to let blind ideology "trump" clear- eyed science and good sense.
It is clear beyond reasonable scientific doubt that: (1) climate change is occurring globally at a pace and in a pattern not explained by natural influences; (2) the pace and pattern are explained by human emissions from fossil-fuel burning and land-use change; (3) the ongoing changes in climate are already causing serious harm to human health, property, and livelihoods from increases in heatwaves, wildfires, pest outbreaks, torrential downpours, and the most powerful storms, as well as sea-level rise and shifts in the abundance and distribution of species (those we need, those we love, and those we hate); and (4) future harm in these categories will be far less if the world continues to act collectively to reduce the offending emissions than if it does not.
To ignore these realities, as the Trump administration is now doing, not only will slow global progress on preventing a truly catastrophic degree of climate change; it also will unilaterally surrender the leadership position the United States has enjoyed, under President Obama, in the global effort to meet this common challenge; and, by abandoning the U.S. Government's efforts to support development and implementation of the most cost-effective remedies, it will ultimately sacrifice this country's global economic competitiveness as well.
A New Low for Trump: Gutting the Clean Power Plan https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rhea-suh/new-low-trump-gutting-clean-power-plan
U.S. Climate Actions Can’t Be Stopped With the Stroke of a Pen https://www.nrdc.org/experts/jake-schmidt/us-climate-actions-cant-be-stopped-stroke-pen
Killing Climate Action = Killing People https://www.nrdc.org/experts/juanita-constible/killing-climate-action-killing-people
Trump’s Climate Destruction Plan: A Deal He Can’t Close https://www.nrdc.org/experts/david-doniger/trumps-climate-destruction-plan-deal-he-cant-close
Don’t Believe What Donald Trump Says About Coal https://www.nrdc.org/experts/theo-spencer/dont-believe-what-donald-trump-says-about-coal
Text of the Press Release, retrieved from: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/president-trumps-energy-independence-policy
The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate ReleaseMarch 28, 2017
President Trump's Energy Independence Policy
“I am going to lift the restrictions on American energy, and allow this wealth to pour into our communities.” – Donald J. Trump
MUCH NEEDED REFORM: The past Administration burdened Americans with costly regulations that harmed American jobs and energy production.
- The previous Administration’s Clean Power Plan could cost up to $39 billion a year and increase electricity prices in 41 States by at least ten percent, according to NERA Economic Consulting.
- The Clean Power Plan would cause coal production to fall by 242 million tons, according to the National Mining Association.
- 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 rural electric co-ops, and 3 labor unions are challenging the Clean Power Plan in Federal court.
AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: President Donald J. Trump’s Energy Independence Policy Executive Order reverses the regulations on American jobs and energy production.
- President Trump’s Executive Order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend, revise, or rescind four actions related to the Clean Power Plan that would stifle the American energy industry.
- President Trump’s Executive Order directs the Attorney General to seek appropriate relief from the courts over pending litigation related to the Clean Power Plan.
- President Trump’s Executive Order rescinds Executive and Agency actions centered on the previous administration’s climate change agenda that have acted as a road block to energy independence.
- President Trump’s Executive Order lifts the ban on Federal leasing for coal production.
- President Trump’s Executive Order lifts job-killing restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas, and shale energy.
- President Trump’s Executive Order directs all agencies to conduct a review of existing actions that harm domestic energy production and suspend, revise, or rescind actions that are not mandated by law.
- Within 180 days, agencies must finalize their plans.
- President Trump’ Executive Order directs agencies to use the best available science and economics in regulatory analysis, which was not utilized by the previous administration.
- It disbands the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.
- By revisiting the federal overreach on energy regulation, President Trump is returning power to the states – where it belongs.
FREEING AMERICA’S POTENTIAL: President Trump has worked tirelessly to free American industry and ingenuity from the constraints of Government overreach.
- President Trump has signed four pieces of legislation to clear burdensome and costly regulations on energy production from the previous Administration.
- President Trump has required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated.
- President Trump has directed each agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify costly and unnecessary regulations in need of modification or repeal.
- President Trump has directed the Department of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers.
- President Trump signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to prevent the burdensome “Stream Protection Rule” from causing further harm to the coal industry.
- President Trump ordered the review of the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States,” known as the WOTUS rule, to evaluate whether it is stifling economic growth or job creation.
- President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum and gave a Presidential permit to clear roadblocks to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete its construction.
FULFILLING HIS PROMISE: By taking action on the Clean Power Plan, President Trump is fulfilling his promise to the American people.
- As a candidate, Mr. Trump promised “we will eliminate… the Clean Power Plan—these unilateral plans will increase monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable improvement in the climate.”
Text of the Executive Order, retrieved from: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/presidential-executive-order-promoting-energy-independence-and-economi-1
The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release: March 28, 2017
Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth
PROMOTING ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. (a) It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security.
(b) It is further in the national interest to ensure that the Nation's electricity is affordable, reliable, safe, secure, and clean, and that it can be produced from coal, natural gas, nuclear material, flowing water, and other domestic sources, including renewable sources.
(c) Accordingly, it is the policy of the United States that executive departments and agencies (agencies) immediately review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.
(d) It further is the policy of the United States that, to the extent permitted by law, all agencies should take appropriate actions to promote clean air and clean water for the American people, while also respecting the proper roles of the Congress and the States concerning these matters in our constitutional republic.
(e) It is also the policy of the United States that necessary and appropriate environmental regulations comply with the law, are of greater benefit than cost, when permissible, achieve environmental improvements for the American people, and are developed through transparent processes that employ the best available peer-reviewed science and economics.
Sec. 2. Immediate Review of All Agency Actions that Potentially Burden the Safe, Efficient Development of Domestic Energy Resources. (a) The heads of agencies shall review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. Such review shall not include agency actions that are mandated by law, necessary for the public interest, and consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.
(b) For purposes of this order, "burden" means to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources.
(c) Within 45 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency with agency actions described in subsection (a) of this section shall develop and submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB Director) a plan to carry out the review required by subsection (a) of this section. The plans shall also be sent to the Vice President, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. The head of any agency who determines that such agency does not have agency actions described in subsection (a) of this section shall submit to the OMB Director a written statement to that effect and, absent a determination by the OMB Director that such agency does have agency actions described in subsection (a) of this section, shall have no further responsibilities under this section.
(d) Within 120 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall submit a draft final report detailing the agency actions described in subsection (a) of this section to the Vice President, the OMB Director, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. The report shall include specific recommendations that, to the extent permitted by law, could alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy production.
(e) The report shall be finalized within 180 days of the date of this order, unless the OMB Director, in consultation with the other officials who receive the draft final reports, extends that deadline.
(f) The OMB Director, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, shall be responsible for coordinating the recommended actions included in the agency final reports within the Executive Office of the President.
(g) With respect to any agency action for which specific recommendations are made in a final report pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, the head of the relevant agency shall, as soon as practicable, suspend, revise, or rescind, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding, those actions, as appropriate and consistent with law. Agencies shall endeavor to coordinate such regulatory reforms with their activities undertaken in compliance with Executive Order 13771 of January 30, 2017 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs).
Sec. 3. Rescission of Certain Energy and Climate-Related Presidential and Regulatory Actions. (a) The following Presidential actions are hereby revoked:
- (i) Executive Order 13653 of November 1, 2013 (Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change);
- (ii) The Presidential Memorandum of June 25, 2013 (Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards);
- (iii) The Presidential Memorandum of November 3, 2015 (Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment); and
- (iv) The Presidential Memorandum of September 21, 2016 (Climate Change and National Security).
(b) The following reports shall be rescinded:
- (i) The Report of the Executive Office of the President of June 2013 (The President's Climate Action Plan); and
- (ii) The Report of the Executive Office of the President of March 2014 (Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions).
(c) The Council on Environmental Quality shall rescind its final guidance entitled "Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews," which is referred to in "Notice of Availability," 81 Fed. Reg. 51866 (August 5, 2016).
(d) The heads of all agencies shall identify existing agency actions related to or arising from the Presidential actions listed in subsection (a) of this section, the reports listed in subsection (b) of this section, or the final guidance listed in subsection (c) of this section. Each agency shall, as soon as practicable, suspend, revise, or rescind, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding any such actions, as appropriate and consistent with law and with the policies set forth in section 1 of this order.
Sec. 4. Review of the Environmental Protection Agency's "Clean Power Plan" and Related Rules and Agency Actions. (a) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Administrator) shall immediately take all steps necessary to review the final rules set forth in subsections (b)(i) and (b)(ii) of this section, and any rules and guidance issued pursuant to them, for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order and, if appropriate, shall, as soon as practicable, suspend, revise, or rescind the guidance, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding those rules. In addition, the Administrator shall immediately take all steps necessary to review the proposed rule set forth in subsection (b)(iii) of this section, and, if appropriate, shall, as soon as practicable, determine whether to revise or withdraw the proposed rule.
(b) This section applies to the following final or proposed rules:
- (i) The final rule entitled "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units," 80 Fed. Reg. 64661 (October 23, 2015) (Clean Power Plan);
- (ii) The final rule entitled "Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units," 80 Fed. Reg. 64509 (October 23, 2015); and
- (iii) The proposed rule entitled "Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or Before January 8, 2014; Model Trading Rules; Amendments to Framework Regulations; Proposed Rule," 80 Fed. Reg. 64966 (October 23, 2015).
(c) The Administrator shall review and, if appropriate, as soon as practicable, take lawful action to suspend, revise, or rescind, as appropriate and consistent with law, the "Legal Memorandum Accompanying Clean Power Plan for Certain Issues," which was published in conjunction with the Clean Power Plan.
(d) The Administrator shall promptly notify the Attorney General of any actions taken by the Administrator pursuant to this order related to the rules identified in subsection (b) of this section so that the Attorney General may, as appropriate, provide notice of this order and any such action to any court with jurisdiction over pending litigation related to those rules, and may, in his discretion, request that the court stay the litigation or otherwise delay further litigation, or seek other appropriate relief consistent with this order, pending the completion of the administrative actions described in subsection (a) of this section.
Sec. 5. Review of Estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon, Nitrous Oxide, and Methane for Regulatory Impact Analysis. (a) In order to ensure sound regulatory decision making, it is essential that agencies use estimates of costs and benefits in their regulatory analyses that are based on the best available science and economics.
(b) The Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (IWG), which was convened by the Council of Economic Advisers and the OMB Director, shall be disbanded, and the following documents issued by the IWG shall be withdrawn as no longer representative of governmental policy:
- (i) Technical Support Document: Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866 (February 2010);
- (ii) Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis (May 2013);
- (iii) Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis (November 2013);
- (iv) Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis (July 2015);
- (v) Addendum to the Technical Support Document for Social Cost of Carbon: Application of the Methodology to Estimate the Social Cost of Methane and the Social Cost of Nitrous Oxide (August 2016); and
- (vi) Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis (August 2016).
(c) Effective immediately, when monetizing the value of changes in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from regulations, including with respect to the consideration of domestic versus international impacts and the consideration of appropriate discount rates, agencies shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that any such estimates are consistent with the guidance contained in OMB Circular A-4 of September 17, 2003 (Regulatory Analysis), which was issued after peer review and public comment and has been widely accepted for more than a decade as embodying the best practices for conducting regulatory cost-benefit analysis.
Sec. 6. Federal Land Coal Leasing Moratorium. The Secretary of the Interior shall take all steps necessary and appropriate to amend or withdraw Secretary's Order 3338 dated January 15, 2016 (Discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to Modernize the Federal Coal Program), and to lift any and all moratoria on Federal land coal leasing activities related to Order 3338. The Secretary shall commence Federal coal leasing activities consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.
Sec. 7. Review of Regulations Related to United States Oil and Gas Development. (a) The Administrator shall review the final rule entitled "Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources," 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016), and any rules and guidance issued pursuant to it, for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order and, if appropriate, shall, as soon as practicable, suspend, revise, or rescind the guidance, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding those rules.
(b) The Secretary of the Interior shall review the following final rules, and any rules and guidance issued pursuant to them, for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order and, if appropriate, shall, as soon as practicable, suspend, revise, or rescind the guidance, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding those rules:
- (i) The final rule entitled "Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands," 80 Fed. Reg. 16128 (March 26, 2015);
- (ii) The final rule entitled "General Provisions and Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights," 81 Fed. Reg. 77972 (November 4, 2016);
- (iii) The final rule entitled "Management of Non Federal Oil and Gas Rights," 81 Fed. Reg. 79948 (November 14, 2016); and
- (iv) The final rule entitled "Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation," 81 Fed. Reg. 83008 (November 18, 2016).
(c) The Administrator or the Secretary of the Interior, as applicable, shall promptly notify the Attorney General of any actions taken by them related to the rules identified in subsections (a) and (b) of this section so that the Attorney General may, as appropriate, provide notice of this order and any such action to any court with jurisdiction over pending litigation related to those rules, and may, in his discretion, request that the court stay the litigation or otherwise delay further litigation, or seek other appropriate relief consistent with this order, until the completion of the administrative actions described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.
Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
- (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
- (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE, March 28, 2017.