Executive order undoes much of Obama’s climate legacy

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March 28, 2017

President Donald Trump issued an executive order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” on March 28. The order rescinds several environmental regulations instituted under the Obama Administration. It contains provisions that target various energy sectors, including coal, natural gas, and other domestic sources of energy.

The order directs federal agencies to review and, if appropriate, eliminate any rules that hinder energy production, restrict economic growth, and prevent job creation. The order directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the Clean Power Plan and any related rules or guidance issued by the agency. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) coal leasing moratorium on federal land, which restricted issuance of new coal leases on federal lands, will be lifted under this order.

President Trump’s order also revokes several of Obama’s executive actions, including a 2016 memorandum identifying climate change as a national security issue, a 2015 memorandum encouraging private investment in natural resource restoration, a 2013 executive order directing agencies to prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change, and the 2013 report of the President’s Climate Action Plan.

Several of these rules are currently in litigation and have not come into effect yet.

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, White House Office of the Press Secretary