Energy & Environment

Trump executive orders to target climate, water rules: report


The White House is preparing executive orders targeting controversial Obama-era climate and water rules, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. 

Through executive orders, President Trump will reportedly tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rewrite a 2015 rule that cracks down on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

He will also instruct the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to redo another 2015 rule that gives the federal government more regulatory power over waterways around the country. Along the way, he will also lift an Interior Department moratorium on federal land coal leasing. 

{mosads}The power plant rule — called the Clean Power Plan — and the water rule are two of the most expansive and controversial environmental rules issued by the Obama administration, and ones that Trump has long promised to undo. 

The Clean Power Plan was the centerpiece of Obama’s climate change agenda. The measure envisions a 32 percent reduction in electricity sector carbon emissions by 2030. Environmentalists support the measure but Republicans contend it gives the government too much power and the energy sector says it imperils fossil fuel industries. 

Last February, the Supreme Court halted implementation of the rule until lawsuits against it could move forward. A ruling on the measure is due soon from a federal court. 

The water rule — formally titled the Clean Water Rule, but commonly known as Waters of the United States — gives the federal government regulatory jurisdiction over small waterways around the county. The measure was also stayed by a federal judge after a host of states sued against it. 

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump promised to undo both rules, as well as end the coal leasing moratorium the Interior Department issued in early 2016. So far, he has signed a congressional resolution undoing a different coal mining regulation, and the Senate could soon send him a resolution blocking methane restrictions on federal natural gas wells.  

The Senate on Friday confirmed Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt sued against both the Clean Power Plan and the water rule and is expected to support efforts to undo them.

Tags Clean Power Plan Coal Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt Waters of the United States
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