President Trump has been threatening for weeks to issue an executive order to rein in the Obama administration’s climate change agenda, but it appears another week may be in order before Trump gets out his signing pen.
Administration sources said the order likely will be held back for another week, according to Politico. A White House official would not confirm or deny reports of the delay to the Washington Examiner, saying only that guidance on the order’s release will be passed along “as soon as it’s available.”
Another spokesperson said, “We do not have any announcements at this time.”
The order is expected to end a de facto ban on building new coal power plants in the country, a moratorium on coal mining and the end of far-reaching climate regulations on states.
According to a draft copy of the “Energy Independence” executive order reviewed by the Washington Examiner, the first target on the menu will be the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and New Source standard for power plants.
The draft order states that the power plan would cost $39 billion a year, based on a previous industry-funded study by NERA Consulting that the draft order cites to justify ending the Obama administration’s version of the plan, which requires that states cut greenhouse gas emissions a third by 2030. The study said the plan would result in double-digit increases in electricity prices in 41 states for “meaningless environmental impacts,” according to the order.
Environmental groups have begun lashing back at reports that the administration would be using the NERA report, which the sustainability think tank World Resources Institute said in January “lacked credibility” by underestimating growth in clean energy and overestimating electricity price increases.
The order also looks to rein in the New Source power plant standard, which the coal industry refers to as EPA’s de facto ban on building new coal plants. The regulation requires that all new coal plants be outfitted with expensive carbon capture technology, which the industry argues is cost prohibitive and makes building new coal plants next to impossible.
The order would send both rules back to the drawing board at the EPA, which is expected to extinguish them by following procedures for reconsidering a regulation.
But since both climate rules are being reviewed in federal court, the Trump order also directs the attorney general to request all courts reviewing the climate rules to hold the cases in abeyance, or remand them back to EPA while the administration reviews them.
In addition, the order directs the Interior Department to lift its moratorium on issuing new coal leases to open up mining again.
It also calls for an interagency working group to “reconsider” the Social Cost of Carbon, which is the metric the Obama administration used to justify the cost of its regulations, while directing the White House Council on Environmental Quality to rescind an agency-wide directive by the Obama administration to include climate change in all environmental reviews of projects.
The Trump order also would call for a review of all rules by the EPA and other agencies that “result in impediments to domestic energy production and the expansion of energy production facilities,” according to the draft.
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