By Jennifer A Dlouhy
14 March 2017
(Bloomberg) – President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plan.
The order, which could be signed this week, goes far beyond a targeted assault on Obama-era measures blocking coal leasing and throttling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that has been discussed for weeks. Some of the changes could happen immediately; others could take years to implement.
It aims to reverse President Barack Obama’s broad approach for addressing climate change. One Obama-era policy instructed government agencies to factor climate change into formal environmental reviews, such as that for the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump’s order also will compel a reconsideration of the government’s use of a metric known as the "social cost of carbon" that reflects the potential economic damage from climate change. It was used by the Obama administration to justify a suite of regulations. […]
Environmentalists said the president’s action will erode the international leadership the U.S. has played addressing climate change and encouraging other countries to limit the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that are the primary driver of the phenomenon.
The anticipated action "puts our country, our communities and our people at great risk," said Paul Getsos, national coordinator of the People’s Climate Movement, a coalition of labor, civil rights and faith-based groups. "It also sends a dangerous message to the world that the United States does not care about climate change or protecting front-line communities." [more]