President Trump continued his crusade against science and the earth's well being on Tuesday by signing an executive order rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations established in 2013 as the Climate Action Plan. At least 10 major changes to Obama's policies will be made.
President Obama's regulations required manufacturers of goods to comply with rules aimed at reducing the consumption of energy — for example, sellers of household appliances such as microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators had to ensure their products did not consume energy past a certain rate — and minimizing waste by producing products with recyclable or environmentally friendly materials whenever possible. In addition, Trump's predecessor made an effort to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from power plants by implementing a national limit. Other mandates targeting the oil and gas industry regarding where energy companies could drill or construct new projects, such as pipelines, were also included in Obama's plan.
President Trump's new order is part of his mission to create jobs and promote business, which he feels would be impeded by the Climate Action Plan. "This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation," he said earlier this month in a speech at the American Center for Mobility near Detroit. "My administration will work tirelessly to eliminate the industry-killing regulations, to lower the job-crushing taxes and to ensure a level playing field for all American companies and workers."
The president's new order rolls back the Clean Power Plan, which required existing fossil fuel-powered power plants to their energy consumption in order to lower the national production of greenhouse gases by 40%; a similar rule that would have applied to new power plants; climate change's status as a national security issue; the prohibition of coal mining on federal tribal lands; an EPA-enacted restriction on the oil and gas industry's methane emissions, and more.
Signed by over 190 nations, the Clean Power Plan was a landmark victory for President Obama. Scientists have long insisted on the urgency of battling climate change, with major changes to the earth's climate expected to transpire within 50 years, if unaddressed. In February, Bill Nye joined forces with Sen. Bernie Sanders to emphasize why acting on climate change is so vital.
Sanders swiftly responded to news of the president's new order. "Mr. Trump, you cannot run a government by rejecting science," he tweeted. "Listen to the scientific community, not the CEOs of the fossil fuel industry. Our job is to save the planet not make more profits for the oil, gas and coal industries. We must act boldly to transform our energy system."
Somehow, it's unlikely that the president will listen.