Trump's big climate change splash

March 28, 2017

Today at the EPA President Trump is acting on a pledge to unravel several parts of the Obama-era climate change push. He'll sign an executive order that will:

  • Begin undoing the EPA Clean Power Plan than mandates cuts in carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
  • Undo several policies that wove climate change into federal decision-making, such as the Obama administration's tally of a metric called the social cost of carbon, and a White House directive that agencies factor climate change into a range of permitting decisions.
  • End an Interior Department policy that froze issuance of new coal leases on federal lands.
  • Reconsider EPA and Interior rules that govern oil-and-gas development.
  • Make several other policy changes, which we describe here.

Where all this matters and where it doesn't: Before today Trump had killed an Interior Department regulation on coal mining waste, approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, signaled he'll ease auto mileage rules, and called for faster infrastructure permitting overall. So two months into his presidency, how much impact is he having? Easing environmental protections can affect how industry operates, but not necessarily how much it operates. Fossil fuel production is pretty resilient to policy shifts unless they really mess with the underlying market fundamentals. So let's look at where Trump's actions to date will or won't move the needle . . .

  • Oil and gas production. These changes are unlikely to have an outsized effect, but could influence drilling and production decisions a little. Easing regulations matters much less than fundamentals. While lots of Washington is paying attention today.....

Read entire article on Axios.

 

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