Trump unwinds Obama-era climate policy - but does he unlock coal?
On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an “energy independence” executive order (EO). He called on federal agencies to review the Clean Power Plan (CPP), lift the moratorium on new federal coal leases, identify regulatory obstacles to US energy independence, ease regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas activity, and ignore climate change impacts in all National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. The EO is in line with President Trump’s principal desire to protect US jobs and help the coal industry. The EO is a step toward confining the EPA to its congressionally-mandated core functions of maintaining clean air and clean water. The president claims that these goals are compatible with improving US energy independence and safeguarding the environment. But has he done enough to help coal? In this insight, we examine the impacts and implications this new order will have across multiple agencies and sectors of the US economy.