Trump Signs Energy Independence Executive Order

Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to “suspend, revise, or rescind” the Clean Power Plan and undertake several other regulatory and policy reforms intended to reverse the former administration’s climate change agenda.  The stated goal of the Order is to “avoid regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.”  Many of the actions relate to the removal of Obama administration memoranda or guidance that had sought to incorporate climate change considerations into federal government decision-making.  Among those targeted for withdrawal are documents related to the “Social Cost of Carbon,” the Climate Action Plan and memoranda on climate change adaptation and climate change and national security, among others. 

The Executive Order also calls for regulatory and policy changes that would open up coal and natural gas development on federal lands.  It also directs agency heads to “review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources.” 

Revising or rescinding the Clean Power Plan will take significant time and likely face a number of legal challenges.  An initial step for the Administration will be to direct the Attorney General to request a stay from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on the Clean Power Plan litigation or to ask the court to hold the case in abeyance.   See Executive Order.  More info: Jackson Morrill


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