Trump is Reportedly Ready to Reduce the Role of Climate Change in Policy Decisions

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to release a wide-ranging executive order to reduce the role that climate change plays in policy decisions, according to a Trump administration official who reviewed a draft of the order.

The move could alter how U.S. agencies weigh regulations on a broad array of industries, from drilling, coal mining and auto manufacturing to refining.

The official on Tuesday confirmed a Bloomberg News report that the executive order will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies to overhaul their use of the “social cost of carbon,” an Obama-era policy that seeks to quantify potential economic damage from climate change for the purposes of drafting regulation.

White House spokeswoman Kelly Love declined to discuss the timing of an executive order on energy. “We have nothing to announce at this time,” she said.

Under rules put in by place by former President Barack Obama, the current cost of carbon in policy decisions is $36 per tonne, which will rise to $50 by 2030. The Trump order would direct regulators to use a “discount rate” that would dramatically reduce, or eliminate, that cost.

Discount rates are used to come up with a net present value of something whose benefits and costs will be distributed over time. In the case of carbon, the impact of emissions on the earth’s climate can take several years to appear.

Under some scenarios referenced in the executive order, carbon could have a zero or “negative value,” the source said. The source said that the order may be an initial step to ultimately phasing out the carbon evaluation entirely.

The executive order could be issued as soon as this week, the source said, and may include other energy-specific measures, like a requirement for the EPA to conduct a review of regulations that could harm energy production.

Reuters and others have reported previously that Trump planned to target Obama-era green regulations, including a federal coal mining ban and an initiative forcing states to cut carbon emissions.

The Department of Interior under Obama had issued a moratorium on coal leasing on federal land in 2015 as it sought to review the program and evaluate whether the government adequately priced the value of coal extracted from public lands on behalf of taxpayers.

The Clean Power Plan was Obama’s centerpiece initiative to combat climate change, requiring states to slash emissions of carbon dioxide. But it was never implemented due to legal challenges launched by several Republican states.

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Comments (5)

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    amber

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    When “news ” corporations come out with statements like ” according to a Trump
    administration official ” you know it is fake news . What idiot would be working for President Trump and be leaking any kind of story ?
    A “discount rate ” really ? Co2 is not a pollutant and it produces a net positive benefit
    otherwise green house farmers wouldn’t use to help grow plants .
    Sounds like a way of letting the hot air out the biggest scientific fraud in history but in a nice politically correct manner to save the fraud ring leaders from slammer time .

    • Avatar

      VancouverDoug

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      Comparing the Earth’s climate system to a greenhouse is pretty naive. CO2 is critical to life on Earth but within a certain concentration. Same as any substance – water, oxygen, sugar, alcohol, etc. Ignoring that fundamental invalidates the “CO2 is good no matter what” meme.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Co2 is increasing and has been much higher long before humans were flying around . At a fraction of 1 % it is not the demon gas depicted in failed climate model projections nor is about to be . The climate modellers helped destroy their own hypothesis and credibility by overstating warming by hundreds of percent .
    Co2 must have some warming effect but characterizing those effects as all negative displays an unscientific bias and incomplete assessment of the consequences of higher concentrations . Humans are certainly not going to adjust the earths thermostat to their liking by playing with the Co2 from human use of fossil fuel . Natural variables that have created ice ages and much higher temperatures will be setting the direction of climate just like they always have despite some humans overinflated sense of influence . A more plausible argument is that we can expect to effectively run out of fossil fuels in less than 1000 years of earths 4 billion year history so we better conserve it . The problem with that is the scary global warming rent seekers just can’t get their business plan sold on that basis . Climate Armageddon has to be now or the money dries up .

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    Agreed, Amber. I’d be inclined to listen and respect socialists if conservation for future generations was promoted. High prices for energy encourage conservation. You’re also correct that it doesn’t sell. Our world is a competitive place and harnessing energy is a big part of it. Witness China.

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