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. “[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 2016, the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the law pending judicial review.
Attorneys general from 28 states — led by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, then Oklahoma's attorney general — joined together to claim that the plan presents too broad an interpretation of the 1963 Clean Air Act, originally designed to restrain air pollution across the country.
Tuesday's executive order will not address the Paris Agreement, a 2015 United Nations plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions set to go into effect in 2020, of which the U.S. is a signatory. The official who commented upon the order said the administration's stance on the Paris Agreement is still under discussion.