Climate Regulations Are A Frequent Target
The Trump administration has been particularly focused on rolling back actions intended to deal with climate change. On June 1, 2017, President Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an agreement among 195 nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The United States stands alone among major emitters in the world in its efforts to repudiate the agreement and cannot officially withdraw until the day after the 2020 election in November.
President Trumps ability to roll back climate rules stems from actions of the Obama administration, which used existing law and executive orders to regulate GHG emissions because Congress was unwilling to act. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases are within the Clean Air Acts definition of an air pollutant, and thus can be regulated as such. President Barack Obama used the Clean Air Act to establish the Clean Power Plan, a cornerstone of that administrations strategy to reduce GHG emissions. The plan under legal challenge from the beginning was designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector and had the effect of prohibiting new coal plants without carbon capture and storage. It allowed a comprehensive approach to compliance, including demand management and other strategies outside the fence line of power plants opponents claimed that the Obama administration did not have the authority to regulate in this way.
What Has Trump Done On Climate Change
The Climate Deregulation Tracker, run by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, has documented more than 130 steps the Trump administration has taken to scale back measures to fight climate change.
High-profile rollbacks include:
- Replacing President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which would have limited carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants, with the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which had weaker regulations
- Attempting to freeze the fuel efficiency standards imposed on new vehicles, and prevent California from setting its own emissions rules
“He’s completely halted and reversed the momentum that was built up during the Obama administration in fighting climate change,” Prof Gerrard says.
While withdrawing from the Paris Agreement was “terrible symbolically”, the agreement had “virtually no specifics on what the US had to do”, so other rollbacks, especially the attempt to limit fuel economic standards of cars, were more damaging, he adds.
Dan Costa worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for more than 30 years, including as the National Director of the Air, Climate & Energy Research Program.
He said he noticed an “anti-science stance” once the Trump administration’s team took over.
“One of the folks who came as part of the transition team said ‘if climate change is such a bad thing, why are so many people moving to Arizona? Anyway, you can turn up the air conditioning.'”
The Planet Is Still Warming And It Is Getting Worse
The planet is still warming and it is getting worse. Why would the name need to be changed in the first place? Trump says it wasnt working, most likely trying to imply that the planet wasnt warming so the term had to evolve but this couldnt be further from the truth.
Facts First: The planet has continued to warm, and the rate of that warming has been increasing.
The past five years have all been the warmest on record for the planet, dating back to 1880, and 18 of the hottest 19 years have occurred since 2001.
As for extreme weather, that is again, a different term altogether that refers to weather conditions that are far beyond the normal ranges, from stronger hurricanes to longer droughts.
The terms are not being changed they are all used and they are all valid. In fact, they can all be used in a sentence to sum this all up.
Global warming, caused by the ever-increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere , is causing climate change in a number of ways, including increasing the frequency and severity of many types of extreme weather around the world.
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Chris Wallace Asked Multiple Questions On Warming Heres What Trump Had To Say
Id like to talk about climate change, Chris Wallace said in the last 10 minutes of the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday. What do you believe about the science of climate change, sir? he asked Trump. Do you believe that human pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, contribute to climate change?
The question was not on the list of six debate topics Wallace had released ahead of Tuesday nights debate. By the time the debate hit the hour mark, no one expected climate to come up at all. The first two-thirds of the debate were less of a conversation and more of a hell pit of interruptions and crosstalk. At times, things turned legitimately mean mostly on Trumps end, although Biden snuck in a few attacks. Will you shut up, man? Biden said at one point.
Dont ever say the word smart to me, Joe, Trump later said, insulting Bidens performance in school.
But the roughly 10 minutes the candidates spent talking about climate change were not only surprisingly extensive, thoughtful, and civil, they represented one of the most substantive conversations President Trump has ever been forced to have about climate change on the fly and on such a big platform. Wallace did not hold back.
But Wallace didnt let him off that easy. What do you believe about the science of climate change, sir? he pressed.
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I think to an extent, yes, Trump admitted.
Youre talking about a tiny difference, Trump said.
What Is The Report
The report released Friday is part of a series of reports published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program to analyze research on the impacts of climate change on the U.S., which Congress established in 1990. The research program consults with hundreds of subject matter experts from 13 federal agencies, state and local governments, and academic researchers. The experts look at the available research and models to write the comprehensive report and evaluate how confident they are in the findings.
The first volume of the report, the Climate Science Special Report released last year, was designed as an “authoritative assessment of the science of climate change” to inform policymakers and the public as they decide how to respond to climate change, according to the executive summary. The National Climate Assessment released last week looks more specifically at the impact of climate change in different parts of the U.S. and how local leaders are working to respond to those impacts.
The report concludes that“the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans physical, social, and economic well-being are rising.”
What is global warming?
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Clean Air Act Standards
The Clean Air Act is a federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level. In June 2017, Pruitt announced that he would delay designating which areas met new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, a byproduct of pollutants from burning fossil fuels that has been linked to asthma. In August 2017, Pruitt said he would reverse that decision after being sued by 16 state attorneys general. In March 2018, Pruitt was finally ordered to do so by U.S. district judge Haywood Stirling Gilliam Jr.
As of May 2020, the Trump administration was trying to roll back restrictions on ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic air pollutant. It is widely used to produce antifreeze, fumigate crops, and sterilize medical equipment.
Climate Change Will Not Reverse Itself
Long-term average global temperatures have moved in one direction in the past 115 years: upward. The rise of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the start of the Industrial Revolution has already led to more intense wildfire seasons and the melting of Arctic sea ice.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned last week that the world would see even more dangerous conditions, including food shortages, by 2040.
Could those conditions go back, as Mr. Trump suggests? In the National Climate Assessment report on science approved by the White House in November, top federal scientists found unequivocally that they will not. The global long-term warming trend is unambiguous, they wrote. And as for the idea of natural cycles, they added, we find no convincing evidence that natural variability can account for the amount of global warming observed over the industrial era.
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Donald Trump Still Doesnt Believe In Climate Change
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Piers Morgans 45-minute-long interview with Donald Trump, which aired Sunday, opened with a flashback. It was 2008: the year Morgan won Celebrity Apprentice. I dont know if you can remember what you said, but you said this, recalled Morgan, as the two spoke on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week. You said, Piers, youre a vicious guy . . . Youre tough, youre smart, youre probably brilliant . . . Youre certainly not diplomatic, but you did an amazing job, and you beat the hell out of everybody, and you won by far more than anybody . . . Watching your campaign, it looked like youd stolen my playbook, Mr. President. Both egos simultaneously buoyed, the pair began to rifle through Trumps playbook. They discussed Brexit women and his looming state visit to the U.K. .
Whatever terms Trump might have in mind, of course, are secondary to the fact that the president doesnt appear to believe in climate change at all. There is a cooling and there is a heating, and I mean, lookit used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming. Right? . . . That wasnt working too well, because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now theyre setting records, so O.K., theyre at a record level.
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What Does Trump Actually Believe On Climate Change
US President Donald Trump’s position on climate change has been in the spotlight again, after he criticised “prophets of doom” at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
At the event, which had sustainability as its main theme, and activist Greta Thunberg as its star guest, Mr Trump dismissed “alarmists” who wanted to “control every aspect of our lives” – while also expressing the US’s support for an initiative to plant one trillion trees.
If you judge the president based on his words alone, his views on climate change appear contradictory – and confusing.
He has called climate change “mythical”, “nonexistent”, or “an expensive hoax” – but also subsequently described it as a “serious subject” that is “very important to me”.
Still – if you sift through his multitude of tweets and statements, a number of themes emerge.
In 2009, Mr Trump actually signed a full-page advert in the New York Times, along with dozens of other business leaders, expressing support for legislation combating climate change.
“If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet,” the statement said.
But in the years that followed, he took an opposite approach on Twitter, with more than 120 posts questioning or making light of climate change.
Auto Fuel Economy And Emissions Standards
More than 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from light-duty trucks and cars. The Obama administration 2012 fuel economy plan called for a doubling in fuel economy for new cars and light trucks, to more than 50 miles per US gallon by 2025, equivalent to a real-world average of 36 miles per US gallon .In April 2018, saying “those standards are inappropriate and should be revised,” Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA was rolling back the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency and emissions standards. Democratic Senate Minority LeaderChuck Schumer expressed his concern.
The state of California has a waiver that allows it to set its own auto emissions standards, which it has used to combat smog and, more recently, global warming. Thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted the California standards as their own. Arguing that the Pruitt plan violates the federal Clean Air Act and doesn’t follow the agency’s own regulations, in April California sued the Trump administration. Joining California were Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia. All have Democratic attorneys general.
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Keystone Xl And Dakota Access Pipeline
The construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access had been placed on hold by then-president Barack Obama, who considered it a major contributor to climate change due to the greenhouse gas intensive extraction of oil from tar sands.After months of protest, in December 2016 the United States Army Corps of Engineers under the Obama administration announced that it would not grant an easement for the pipeline to be drilled under Lake Oahe and that USACE was undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes.
Many Sioux tribes said that the pipeline threatens the tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and that it has damaged and destroyed sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance. The tribe has expressed concern about leaks because the pipeline passes under Lake Oahe, which serves as a major source of water. Protests at pipeline construction sites in North Dakota began in the spring of 2016 and drew indigenous people from throughout North America as well as many other supporters, creating the largest gathering of Native Americans in the past hundred years.