House 'Freedom Caucus' pushes Trump to rescind climate measures in first 100 days
- The 36-member "House Freedom Caucus," a group of the most conservative members of the U.S. House, sent President-elect Donald Trump a list of 200 regulations they want him to overturn in his first 100 days in office.
- Among the provisions are demands to scrap ambient air quality standards and carbon emission guidelines for new and existing power plants, as well as the elimination of regional haze rules and guidance for federal agencies on climate change.
- For the Department of Energy, the list includes eliminating the efficiency standards for housing, appliances, power supplies. And in the defense sector, the "Freedom Caucus" wants to terminate mandates to run on renewable energy and spending on environmental projects.
On the environmental side, the Freedom Caucus seeks to undo President Obama's climate legacy, endangering international pledges made during his administration to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.
If the caucus had its way, virtually all regulations related to climate change will be eradicated, particularly those under the Environmental Protection Agency. Greenhouse gas standards under the Clean Power Plan and new source rule would be overturned, as well as rules on ozone, nitrogen and sulfur pollution, among others.
Appliance efficiency standards and the Department of Defense's renewables programs — both previously a source of bipartisan support — would also find the scrap heap.
The Obama administration's guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act would meet a similar fate. Finalized this year, the guidance stipulated that federal agencies must take GHGs into account when making permitting decisions, and had been seen as a tool to combat the building of fossil fuel infrastructure.
Internationally, the Freedom Caucus wants to cancel the commitments made during the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, halt all contributions to the U.N.'s Green Energy Fund and eliminate climate change as a factor in national security.
These demands align with Trump's position on climate regulations. Throughout his campaign, he vowed to scrap the Clean Power Plan, a key part of President Obama's climate legacy, and has repeatedly questioned the validity of mainstream climate science.
Trump doubled down on denial throughout the transition, choosing climate skeptic Scott Pruitt to head EPA. Pruitt has sued the EPA over its Cross State Air Pollution Rules, the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards and the Clean Power Plan.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), reportedly tapped for DOE, also denies the scientific consensus and has a long history of supporting the fossil fuel industry, though transmission building efforts during his administration benefited wind energy as well.
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