by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Donald Trump will order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin dismantling a regulation central to former President Barack Obama’s plan to fight global warming.
A source briefed on the matter told The Washington Post one of the orders “will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities” and order “the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.”
Trump will issue a second order instructing the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that expanded federal control over rivers, streams and wetlands — even those on private property.
Trump is expected to issue the orders in the next week. Dismantling EPA regulations could take months and is bound to draw legal challenges. Repealing the Department of the Interior’s coal moratorium, on the other hand, could take effect immediately.
Previous media reports suggested Trump would issue executive orders dealing with Obama’s Climate Action Plan after the Senate confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head EPA. The Senate confirmed Pruitt Friday.
Obama’s Climate Action Plan aims to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025, and mainly relies on EPA’s Clean Power Plan regulation to get there. The CPP limits carbon dioxide emissions and is expected to force more coal plants to prematurely shut down.
Trump’s withdrawal of the CPP, along with lifting Obama’s moratorium on new federal coal leases, marks the next step in fulfilling his campaign promise to lift the regulatory burden off the coal industry.