Donald Trump will eliminate landmark climate protection plan, says first post on White House website

The Climate Action Plan was introduced four years ago as a national strategy for tackling climate change

Andrew Griffin
Friday 20 January 2017 18:40 GMT
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump views a replica of the Oval Office on a tour of the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. September 30, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump views a replica of the Oval Office on a tour of the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. September 30, 2016 (Reuters)

Donald Trump’s first post on the White House website suggests destroying the US’s strategy to tackle climate change.

After President Trump took over the site, he posted six “Issues” to its home page. The first of those is an “America First Energy Plan”.

The first proposal in that document suggests getting rid of “burdensome regulations on our energy industry”. Those include getting rid of “harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule”.

President Trump doesn’t suggest a replacement for any of those regulations, and goes on to suggest that getting rid of them will save money and keep America secure.

The Climate Action Plan was landmark legislation introduced by Barack Obama in June 2013. It served as a “national plan for tackling climate change”, according to the government.

The key parts of the plan were divided into three sections. Those outlined plans to cut carbon pollution in the US, actions to get the country ready for the effects of climate change, and plans for how to lead international efforts to address global warming.

No part of the Mr Trump’s environmental document makes any mention of climate change or global warming – something that President Trump has in the past said was just a Chinese hoax. The only mention of the environment calls for “responsible stewardship of the environment”, but that refers only to keeping water and air clean.

“Lastly, our need for energy must go hand-in-hand with responsible stewardship of the environment,” the document reads. “Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority.”

It also says that Donald Trump will focus the Environmental Protection Agency onto “protecting our air and water”, and presumably away from climate policies.

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President Trump says that his environmental policies will join up with his economic ones, by encouraging more spending in the US economy. The document says that he will encourage the burning of coal, and the use of shale oil and gas in the US.

By doing so, he will be able to use the revenues to pay for the rebuilding of “roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure” that he promised to his voters. It will also help stimulate the agriculture industry, he claimed.

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That will also allow the US to achieve energy independence from the OPEC alliance of oil producing countries. But President Trump says he will continue to work with countries in the Gulf – many of which are in OPEC – “to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy”.

The document also calls for a new focus on coal and a revival of the country's coal industry. President Trump has claimed that he will do that by backing "clean coal" – but it's not clear that such a thing would actually be possible and whether such thing as clean coal could actually exist.

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