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Trump Delivers on Climate, Energy

February 17, 2017

President Trump has wasted no time putting his unique stamp on energy and environmental policies.

President Trump has wasted no time putting his unique stamp on energy and environmental policies.

Even before Trump was sworn into office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention canceled its Climate and Health Summit scheduled for February, in anticipation of the Trump administration’s new direction on climate policy. Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, a conference co-sponsor, told the Associated Press the CDC told him it was worried how the conference would be viewed by the Trump administration. “They had no idea whether or not the new administration would be supportive,” Benjamin said.

Good thinking, CDC.

Just minutes after Trump took the oath of office, all of President Obama’s energy and climate webpages, including his “Climate Action Plan” page, were removed from the WhiteHouse.gov website and archived. They were replaced with a page dedicated to “An America First Energy Plan,” in which Trump promises, among other things, “to eliminate harmful and unnecessary policies.”

Less than 24 hours after taking office, Trump instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze all grants and contracts. EPA typically awards more than $4 billion in grants and assistance each year.

Next White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum initiating a “regulatory freeze pending review.”

The freeze gives the Trump administration time to review pending rules to ensure they reflect Trump’s policy priorities and comply with the laws under which they were enacted. It includes at least 30 environmental regulations, including updated renewable-fuel requirements and increased energy-efficiency standards for portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers, and commercial boilers.

Trump’s freeze is not some nefarious plot to halt scientific research or roll back environmental protections; It’s a sound management decision by Trump, and a sign his administration is taking burdensome regulations seriously.

Numerous investigations and court rulings have shown the EPA routinely violates the law and its own guidelines, hides collusion between it and environmental lobbyists, wastes money on research with little or no benefit to public health or the environment, and enacts regulations that go beyond the bounds of the Constitution and the authority given to it under various environmental laws.

As the new president, Trump is now responsible for EPA’s actions and spending, and his regulatory rollbacks show he intends to stop the shenanigans that have long plagued EPA and other executive agencies. Thus, for now, the spending and regulations in the pipeline must stop.

Speaking of “pipelines,” on Jan. 24, Trump signed executive orders aimed at restarting and expediting the completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

These pipelines will be good for the environment, provide jobs for American workers, and improve U.S. energy security. It’s time to get them finished and to get the domestic energy industry roaring again.

Trump’s early actions on climate and energy issues are a good down payment on his promise to put America first and “make America great again.”

[Originally Published at the Boston Herald]

Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org

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