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The Trump Administration's Plan to Eliminate the Climate Action Plan

Minutes after President Trump was sworn in, the White House announced that the Trump administration intended to eliminate the Climate Action Plan.

  • The Trump administration intended to “take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves.”
  • The Climate Action Plan substantially increased renewable energy generation, and aimed to decrease power sector emissions by 30% over 25 years
  • By 2100, due to climate change, 1.9 million homes could be underwater nationwide, including 36 entire cities and 12.56% of homes in Florida
  • The Clean Power Plan, established under the Climate Action Plan, was projected to save the U.S. $54 billion a year
  • A Quinnipiac poll found that 59% of respondents believed that Trump should not remove regulations intended to combat climate change

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The Trump Administration Planned To Eliminate The Climate Action Plan

President Trump Was “Committed” To Eliminating The Clean Power Plan, Along With The Water Of The U.S. Rule

The Trump Administration Stated That It Was “Committed To Eliminating” The Climate Action Plan. According to The White House, “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.” [White House, accessed 1/20/17]

The White House Stated That The Trump Administration Would “Take Advantage” Of Untapped Shale, Oil, And Natural Gas Reserves

The Trump Administration Claimed That Eliminating The Climate Action Plan, Along With The Waters Of The U.S. Rule, Would Increase Wages By “More Than $30 Billion” By 2024. According to The White House, “For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.” [White House, accessed 1/20/17]

The Trump Administration Stated It Would “Take Advantage Of The Estimated $50 Trillion In Untapped Shale, Oil, And Natural Gas Reserves, Especially Those On Federal Lands.” According to The White House, “The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own.” [White House, accessed 1/20/17]

The Trump Administration Stated It Would Be “Committed To Clean Coal Technology.” According to The White House, “The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.” [White House, accessed 1/20/17]

The Climate Action Plan Had A Sizeable Impact On Renewable Energy And Climate Preparedness

Under The Climate Action Plan, Renewable Energy Generation Increased By 38 Percent Between January 2013 And December 2014. According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “President Obama’s Climate Action Plan relies almost entirely on executive powers under existing laws—steps the administration can take on its own. […] Between January 2013 and December 2014, renewable generation (from wind and solar) increased by 38 percent.” [Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, June 2015]

  • Wind And Solar Generation Was Expected To Grow By 97 Percent Between 2013 And 2020 Under The Climate Action Plan. According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “President Obama’s Climate Action Plan relies almost entirely on executive powers under existing laws—steps the administration can take on its own. […] According to the latest Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook 2015 reference case, wind and solar generation are expected to be 97 percent higher than at the end of the president’s first term by 2020, effectively meeting the target.” [Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, June 2015]

Appliance Standards Issued Under The Climate Action Plan Were Projected To Reduce CO2 Emissions By More Than 2.165 Billion Metric Tons Through 2030. According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “President Obama’s Climate Action Plan relies almost entirely on executive powers under existing laws—steps the administration can take on its own. […] Appliance standards issued by the administration through January 2015 are projected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2.165 billion metric tons through 2030.” [Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, June 2015]

Under The Climate Action Plan, USAID Launched Projects In The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, And Senegal To Help Insurance Companies Provide Weather-Based Insurance To Rural Households. According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “President Obama’s Climate Action Plan relies almost entirely on executive powers under existing laws—steps the administration can take on its own. […] USAID launched pilot projects in December 2013 in the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia and Senegal to help local insurance companies develop weather-based insurance for rural households.” [Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, June 2015]

The Climate Action Plan Included The Clean Power Plan, Which Aimed To Reduce Emissions By 30% By 2030

The Climate Action Plan Included The Clean Power Plan, Which Aimed To Reduce Power Sector Emissions By 30% Over 25 Years. According to The White House, “Early in his second term, President Obama launched an ambitious Climate Action Plan focused on cutting carbon pollution, preparing the nation for climate impacts, and leading on the international stage to bring nations large and small to the table to pledge to act on climate change. […] Clean Power Plan: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed guidelines for existing power plants in June 2014 that would reduce power sector emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 while delivering $55-93 billion in annual net benefits from reducing carbon pollution and other harmful pollutants.” [White House, 3/31/15]

Members Of The Scientific Community Opposed Repealing The Clean Power Plan

A Group Of State Attorneys General And City Attorneys Wrote A Letter Opposing The Repeal Of The Clean Power Plan. According to a press release from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, “A broad coalition of 19 states and localities, led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, called on President-Elect Trump to continue the federal government’s defense of the Clean Power Plan in a letter sent today, urging him to reject ‘misguided advice’ from a group of Attorneys General led by West Virginia to discard the plan. The letter details why the Clean Power Plan is vital to efforts to limit carbon pollution, and pushes back against ill-conceived efforts to urge the President-Elect to unravel the plan — which, the letter explains, would be contrary to the law.” [New York Attorney General Press Release, 12/29/16]

  • Attorneys Letter: Continuing With The Clean Power Plan Would “Eliminate 870 Million Tons Of Greenhouse Gases By 2030.” According to a letter sent by state and city attorneys to Donald Trump, “The Clean Power Plan builds on successful strategies that states, local governments and the power sector have used to cost effectively cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, while at the same time creating jobs and growing our economies. […]. The rule is expected to eliminate 870 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2030, equivalent to the annual emissions of about 160 million cars. And the rule satisfies EPA’s legal obligation under the Clean Air Act to limit harmful pollution from power plants that endangers public health and welfare.” [State and City Attorneys Letter, 12/28/16]

National Resources Defense Council Director Of Climate And Clean Air David Doniger: If The CPP’s Carbon Limits Are Not Upheld “We Will Bequeath To Our Children…A World Of Climate Catastrophe.” According to The Guardian, “David Doniger, director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said: ‘The Clean Power Plan had a very good day. But we aren’t taking that to the bank just yet. What is certain, though, is we need to take swift and decisive action to combat climate change. This plan is our best available tool, and the court should uphold it. If we don’t limit carbon pollution, and quickly, we will bequeath to our children and all future generations a world of climate catastrophe.’” [The Guardian, 9/28/16]

The National Resources Defense Council Said That The CPP Would Save “Up To $54 Billion” Per Year. According to a National Resources Defense Council web post, “By starting to cut the carbon pollution created by power plants in 2022—ramping up to a 32 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030—the Clean Power Plan represents the most important step the United States can take right now to combat climate change and help spur climate action around the globe. It will aid in mitigating many of the health threats air pollution causes and that climate change enhances. And it will help America build a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations while ensuring an ongoing supply of reliable, affordable energy for economic growth. The plan would save up to $54 billion and thousands of lives a year—plus create tens of thousands of new jobs.” [NRDC.org/issues, accessed 1/19/17]

Quinnipiac Found That A Majority Of American Voters Opposed Efforts To Remove Regulations Intended To Combat Climate Change

A Quinnipiac Poll Showed That 59% Of Respondents Believed Trump Should Not “Remove Specific Regulations Intended To Combat Climate Change.” According to a Quinnipiac University polling memo, “A total of 68 percent of American voters are ‘very concerned’ or ‘somewhat concerned’ about climate change and say 59 – 31 percent that Trump should not ‘remove specific regulations intended to combat climate change.’” [Quinnipiac University Polling Memo, 11/23/16]

Climate Change Has Lead To A Spike In Heat-Related Deaths, And Could Completely Submerge 36 U.S. Cities

Zillow Reported That Rising Sea Levels Could Completely Submerge 36 U.S. Cities By 2100, And Almost 300 U.S. Cities Could Lose More Than Half Of Their Homes. According to Zillow, “If sea levels rise as much as climate scientists predict by the year 2100, almost 300 U.S. cities would lose at least half their homes, and 36 U.S. cities would be completely lost.” [Zillow, 8/2/16]

  • By 2100, Over 12 Percent Of Homes In Florida Could Be Underwater. According to Zillow, “If sea levels rise as much as climate scientists predict by the year 2100, almost 300 U.S. cities would lose at least half their homes, and 36 U.S. cities would be completely lost. One in eight Florida homes would be underwater, accounting for nearly half of the lost housing value nationwide.” According to a Zillow chart using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 12.56% would be underwater if sea levels rise by six feet. [Zillow, 8/2/16]
  • By 2100, Almost 1.9 Million Homes Could Be Underwater, Worth A Combined $882 Billion. According to Zillow, “Nationwide, almost 1.9 million homes (or roughly 2 percent of all U.S. homes) – worth a combined $882 billion – are at risk of being underwater by 2100.” [Zillow, 8/2/16]
  • By 2100, More Than 1 In 6 Homes In Boston Could Be Submerged, Along With Almost 3 Percent Of Homes In New York City. According to Zillow, “More than 1 in 6 Boston homes are at risk, and New Yorkers may find almost 3 percent of homes in the city underwater if sea levels rise in line with climatologists’ predictions.” [Zillow, 8/2/16]

Between The 1990s And The 2000s, There Was A 2,300 Percent Increase In Deaths Related To Heat Worldwide. According to a World Meteorological Organization chart, casualties related to heat increased by 2,300% between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010. This information is further detailed in the following chart:

[World Meteorological Organization, 2013]

Without Cuts In Greenhouse Emissions, The U.S. Could See A 50 Percent Increase In Lightning Strikes By 2100. According to Live Science, “A 50 percent increase in the number of lightning strikes within the United States can be expected by 2100 if temperatures continue to rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, a new study claims. Researchers found a 12 percent increase in lightning activity for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming in the atmosphere, according to the study, published today (Nov. 13) in the journal Science. Without emissions cuts, scientists expect this century to end with global temperatures that are about 7 F (4 C) higher than current global temps.” [Live Science, 11/13/14]

  • According To UC Berkeley Professor David Romps, An Increase In Lightning Strikes Could Lead To An Increase In Wildfires. According to Live Science, “‘This is yet another noticeable change to climate and weather in the U.S. if we stay on our current [emissions] (brackets in original) trajectory,’ said lead study author David Romps, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘It’s certainly reasonable that a 50 percent increase will lead to an increase in wildfires.’” [Live Science, 11/13/14]