President Trump is set to make a trip to the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday to sign an executive order that will “initiate a review” of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and unravel a handful of other energy orders and memorandums instituted by his predecessor.
The Clean Power Plan caps the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted from power plants. The White House argues that the regulation, and others sanctioned by former President Barack Obama, are burdensome to the American economy.
“The president’s been very clear, he’s not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the American economy at risk,” said a senior Trump administration official Monday evening. Asked whether climate change poses its own long-term threat to the economy, the official said he was not familiar with research drawing such a conclusion.
A widely-cited 2006 study on the economics of climate change by Nicholas Brown, the former Chief Economist at the World Bank, surmises that inaction on the issue and its effect on “access to water, food production, health, and the environment” could result in the “equivalent to losing at least 5 percent of global GDP each year, now and forever.” Brown notes that “estimates of damage could rise to 20 percent of GDP or more.”
The White House official made the case that the previous administration “devalued American workers” with its energy policies and that the Trump administration seeks to put the interests of American worker front and center.
“[The president] believes that we can serve the twin goals of protecting the environment — providing clean air, clean water, getting EPA back to its core mission, while at the same time… [protecting] energy production in the U.S.,” the official said.
Upon the Clean Power Plan’s signing in 2015, President Obama called it “the biggest, most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change,” but the law isn’t currently being enforced. In February…