Trump signs order to dismantle Obama's Clean Power Plan


Trump's "Energy Independence" order threatens the environment.

Trump Energy Independence order

Hunter coal-fired power plant, in Emery County, Utah. // Photo: Lindsay Beebe

President Donald Trump has signed an order intended to undo much of the work his predecessor did regarding climate change. The “Energy Independence” executive order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw and rewrite the Clean Power Plan, a cornerstone of former President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy.

Trump signed the document at the EPA’s Washington office, “flanked by coal miners,” according to The New York Times.

“The growing impacts of climate change threaten our public lands, air, and water—the infrastructure of the $646 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Alex Boian, VP of government affairs for Outdoor Industry Association, in an alert to OIA members. “Outdoor businesses rely on a stable climate, and many have taken steps to reduce their own contributions to climate change. Today’s executive order is a disappointing step in the wrong direction to mitigate the threat of climate change.”

Trump’s order doesn’t reference the 2015 Paris Agreement, signed by nearly every country in the world. That agreement signaled worldwide cooperation on fighting climate change. Trump has repeatedly said he wants to back out of it.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan sought to regulate pollution from power plants, which could have closed many of them and prevented future coal plants from being built. It has been temporarily frozen by a Supreme Court order, but would have forced power plants to significantly reduce their carbon emissions by 2030.