Health & Safety

Has Trump Officially Undone Obama’s Good Work?

Apr 13 2017 Read 1258 Times

Like him or not, Barack Obama made considerable progress on climate change during his time in office. He took the threat seriously, and introduced a number of initiatives aiming to tackle it. But now, with a climate change sceptic as president, the US faces the prospect of Obama’s work being undone, so to speak. But will Trump really go that far?

Stamping his mark

Indeed, it seems he will. And he’s already started to do so. At the end of March, Trump signed yet another executive order, this time with the intention of suspending the Clean Power Plan. His Energy Independence Executive Order will also rescind the Climate Action Plan in the process.

The Clean Power Plan was unveiled in 2015, with the main aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power generators. Similarly, the Climate Action Plan outlined the vision of the US to reduce carbon dioxide, and how they would achieve it. Trump has made clear

Keeping energy clean?

“This order will help keep energy and electricity affordable, reliable, and clean in order to boost economic growth and job creation,” said an official of the Trump administration. But will it really? As part of the order, the EPA will be forced to remove all restrictions on federal land for coal mining and fracking leases. The order also sees the National Environmental Policy Act terminated, which made it necessary for federal agencies to outline the environmental impact of their plans.

On the face of it, it looks like yet another environmental disaster in Trump’s name. But his administration claim they are simply replacing the policies. “When it comes to climate change, we want to take our course and do it in our own form and fashion,” said the senior administration official. But from a man who has previously labelled climate change a myth and a hoax, it hardly looks likely.

Across the pond

While Trump is going in the wrong direction for climate change, the European Union is continuing its work to improve the situation. Their Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) came into force in December 2015, and aims to reduce the amount of pollutants being emitted. It needs to be applied by December 2017. But how will it affect medium combustion plants? Take a look in the article ‘The European Union’s Medium Combustion Plant Directive –  Monitoring and Compliance requirements’.

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