Energy & Environment

Report: Trump aiming to sign executive orders on EPA


President Trump aims to sign executive orders cutting into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate work shortly after his nominee to lead the agency is confirmed by the Senate, according to a report. 

Trump will attend a swearing-in ceremony for EPA Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt at agency headquarters after the Senate confirms Pruitt, Inside EPA reported this week. 

At that event, an administration source told Inside EPA that Trump will sign executive orders related to the agency’s climate work and that they could “suck the air out of the room,” according to the report. 

The official did not say how many orders Trump will sign or what they will address. But the planned event could be similar to one Trump held at the Pentagon after Defense Secretary James Mattis was sworn in.

{mosads}At that event, Trump signed an executive order cracking down on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and halting the U.S. refugee program for 120, including indefinitely banning Syrian refugees. 

An administration official said a potential Trump visit to EPA headquarters has yet to be confirmed. 

Senate Republicans are aiming to vote on Pruitt’s nomination this week. Nearly every Democrat is likely to oppose Pruitt, but he is expected to have enough Republican support to win confirmation. 

Trump has vowed to roll back Obama-era EPA actions, including major climate change regulations like the Clean Power Plan and a water jurisdiction rule opposed by many conservatives.

One executive order, according to Inside EPA’s report, could be aimed at the State Department, suggesting Trump will take a position on the United States’s participation in the Paris climate deal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Senate last month that he hopes to stay in that climate pact. 

Trump’s actions are likely to cheer fossil fuel groups and conservatives who resisted Obama’s climate work. But environmentalists are certain to oppose Trump’s efforts.

Responding to the report on Wednesday, the Sierra Club said, “It would mean he is declaring open season on our air, water and climate while further destabilizing our role in the world.”

—Updated at 1:00 p.m.

Tags Climate change Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency Paris climate deal Scott Pruitt
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