Society

Trump Won't Review Impact Of Climate Change

| by Jordan Smith

President Donald Trump plans to remove climate change as an issue to be considered in the government's environmental reviews.

A new directive could affect things from appliance guidelines to pipeline approval, according to Bloomberg.

Trump's proposed changes would do away with President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which forced states to cut their use of coal-powered energy in exchange for alternative sources that cause less pollution.

He also plans to end the use of the "social cost of carbon," an Obama-era measure that calculated the potential impact of climate change and charged producers of carbon dioxide depending on the amount they produced.

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Tom Pyle of the American Energy Alliance, a conservative group aligned with the fossil fuel industry, welcomed the announcement.

"President Obama created such a labyrinth of rules and orders and regulations to cement his agenda across practically every agency," Pyle told Bloomberg. "It was designed to put into the mission of the agencies climate change first and make the rest of their mission second. This was a constraint deliberately set up by the previous administration to make it difficult to [utilize] coal, oil and natural gas."

Trump pledged during the election campaign to get rid of what he called job-killing regulations implemented by Obama.

Scott Pruitt, who was appointed by Trump to head the Environmental Protection Agency, has rejected the science arguing that carbon dioxide is the main cause of climate change. In his previous role as Oklahoma's Attorney General, Pruitt challenged the Clean Power Plan in court.

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Paul Getsos of the People's Climate Movement argued that Trump's proposed legislation "puts our country, our communities and our people at great risk."

"It also sends a dangerous message to the world that the United States does not care about climate change or protecting frontline communities," he added.

It is not yet clear if Trump will sign an executive order. A White House spokeswoman said she had no comment at this time.

Although the Trump administration appears to be reducing the importance of climate change in government reviews, not all members of his administration believe its consequences can be ignored.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, in written responses to questions as part of his confirmation process, revealed that climate change was concerning to him.

"Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today," Mattis wrote, according to Pro Publica. "It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning."

Sources: Bloomberg, Pro Publica / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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