The environment could be the next victim of President Donald Trump’s executive orders. The Washington Post reported that according to individuals briefed on the measure, Trump is seeking to curtail some of President Barack Obama’s policies on water pollution, coal and the environment through upcoming executive orders. Signing such orders would signal the Trump administration will work to champion the fossil fuel industry, regardless of the economic growth the country could see through renewable energy.
According to The Washington Post, people familiar with the proposals who asked to remain anonymous said Trump is currently preparing executive orders and could announce them later this week. The orders largely target rules put in place under Obama to protect the environment. It could take a while to actually implement the orders, but they would serve as a reminder the Trump administration is dead set on promoting fossil fuels.
One order could direct the Environmental Protection Agency to start rewriting a 2015 regulation limiting greenhouse gas emissions of electric utilities. Under the same order the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management could rescind a freeze on federal coal leasing.
Another order could change the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, which provides authority for the federal government over rivers, wetlands, and streams that feed into large water bodies. The rule impacts some development that could pollute the smaller waterways. Trump has said such regulations aiming to safeguard the environment hurt economic growth. He’s condemned rules put in place to reduce the use of fossil fuels as an attack on the coal industry. While the president’s moves could face legal battles, the lifting of the coal leasing freeze could take effect immediately.