US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order (EO) aimed at lifting bans and limitations for the fossil fuel and nuclear industry while voiding a number of Obama-era climate policies.
The president directed the heads of different government agencies to review all regulations, orders, guidance documents and policies that potentially obstruct, delay or otherwise impose significant costs for the development of US energy resources, with “particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources”.
As expected, the “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” calls for a review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan and its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions guidelines. It also cancels a number of energy and climate-related presidential and regulatory actions, such as the Climate Action Plan, while calling for the lifting of all moratoria on Federal land coal leasing activities.
“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,” says the EO. There is no other mention of renewable energy in it.
Trump demands new estimates of the social cost of carbon, nitrous oxide, and methane because such are needed to ensure “sound regulatory decision making”. The EO says it is crucial to have estimates of costs and benefits based on “the best available science and economics”. Meanwhile, the govenment will be dropping the “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”. A working group on the social cost of GHG will be disbanded.
A review will also start of rules for “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands”, “General Provisions and Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights”, “Management of Non Federal Oil and Gas Rights”, and “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation”.
In a statement yesterday, Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director said that “Trump may be able to delay America’s inevitable transition to clean energy and cause unnecessary harm at home and abroad, but he can’t stop it because its momentum is too great.”
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