All the ways Trump is shredding Obama’s climate agenda

President Donald Trump’s expected decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is a huge morale blow to the worldwide effort to head off the worst effects of global warming. But it’s just the latest step in his determined campaign to erase Barack Obama’s green agenda.

Pulling out of the Paris deal means that the United States — the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases — would no longer take part in the most comprehensive international pact ever crafted on climate change, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only holdouts among nearly 200 nations.

But Trump’s domestic environmental efforts will have the most immediate real-world impact on the planet’s fate, by halting Obama’s attempts to achieve steep cuts in U.S. carbon emissions and shift the country away from fossil fuels. The impact of those regulation rollbacks and other steps could be equivalent to adding almost 2 percent to the world’s carbon output by 2025 compared with Obama’s targets, based on recent analyses — at a time when climate researchers say the world urgently needs to accelerate its reductions.

This is POLITICO’s rundown of the steps Trump has already set in motion:

Lifting limits on coal

— Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take the first steps toward repealing Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a suite of curbs on greenhouse gas pollution from thousands of existing power plants. Those restrictions, and a separate regulation on future plants, would have encouraged power companies to shift away from coal.

— The administration lifted Obama’s freeze on new coal leases on federal land, and halted the Interior Department’s formal environmental review of coal leasing charges.

— Interior announced it will repeal an Obama-era rule that threatened to increase companies’ royalty payments for coal, oil and natural gas they extract on federal lands.

— Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered a 60-day review of tax and regulatory policies that “are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants,” language suggesting the report will criticize federal support for wind and solar power.

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Drill, baby drill

— Trump ordered Interior to end restrictions on oil drilling in Arctic waters, and told it to consider opening up the Atlantic coast for drilling.

— He ordered Interior to rewrite a 2015 rule that called for tighter environmental standards for fracked oil and gas wells on public lands. He also ordered reviews of a rule on offshore oil well safety, as well as one relating to air quality evaluations for offshore oil and gas drillers.

— He signed a congressional repeal of an Interior Department land-use planning update after fossil fuel companies complained it would hurt their access to federal lands.

— EPA withdrew a request for information from oil and gas companies about methane emissions from their operations. The Obama administration’s request had been seen as an early step toward regulating those sources.

— Trump ordered the Commerce Department to review all marine sanctuaries established or expanded in the past 10 years for possible oil and natural gas drilling opportunities.

— He reversed Obama’s denial of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to allow final construction on the Dakota Access pipeline. Neither project would have much impact on the climate by itself, but the moves sent a strong signal of the administration’s intention to increase fossil fuel production.

Rolling back regulations

— Trump ordered EPA to reopen its review of Obama’s tightened automobile emissions standards for model years 2022-2025. The review is the first step toward relaxing the standards.

— The administration froze the rollout of several Energy Department energy efficiency rules.

— EPA is reviewing whether to continue a 2013 waiver that lets California impose stricter air pollution limits regulations than the federal government does on “non-road” diesel engines like bulldozers and tractors.

— EPA is reviewing several regulations still in litigation, including rules on mercury from power plants, ozone, wetlands and waterways, pollution from heavy-duty trucks, methane emissions from new oil and gas operations, coal plants’ pollution discharges into waterways and refrigerants, plus a rule that would let citizen groups sue power plants that exceed emissions limits during startup, shutdown or malfunction.

Cutting climate and green energy programs

— Trump’s 2018 budget request proposed a 31 percent cut to EPA’s budget, which especially targeted its climate programs. He also proposed cutting climate research at other agencies, including Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey.

— EPA reassigned employees who had been working on adapting to the effects of climate change.

— Trump called for eliminating DOE’s loan program and its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which supports commercially risky technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The administration also sought deep cuts to offices devoted to fossil, nuclear and renewable energy as well as energy efficiency.

— DOE placed a hold on funding for nearly two dozen ARPA-E projects. Only three have gotten approval under the Trump administration.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/31/trump-obama-climate-agenda-list-238994

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