Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday to undo several Barack Obama-era climate change measures in what his government says is an effort to boost domestic energy production.
As part of the rollback, Trump will initiate a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation, Obama’s signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.
Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax” invented by the Chinese, has repeatedly criticised the power-plant rule and others as an attack on workers and the struggling coal industry.
The contents of the order were outlined to reporters in a sometimes tense briefing with a senior White House official, whom aides insisted speak without attribution.
The official at one point appeared to break with mainstream climate science, denying familiarity with widely publicised concerns about the potential adverse economic impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and more extreme weather.
In addition to pulling back from the Clean Power Plan, the administration will also lift a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.
The order will also chip away at other regulations, including scrapping language on the “social cost” of greenhouse gases. It will initiate a review of efforts to reduce the emission of methane in oil and natural gas production, as well as a Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule, to determine whether those reflect the president’s policy priorities.
It will also rescind Obama-era executive orders and memoranda, including one that addressed climate change and national security and one that sought to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change.
The administration is still considering whether it should withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. But the moves to be announced on Tuesday will make it more difficult for the US to achieve its goals under the agreement.
Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.