Spectrum Logo

The Real Meaning of Trump’s Climate Change Orders – In Plain Language

Posted on:

< < Back to

In this special edition, Spectrum breaks down the Trump Administration’s recent actions against climate change into plain English that everyone can understand.
To help us with that, we are assisted by Dr. Geoffrey Dabelko, Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies Program at the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.
For 15 years prior to that, Dr. Dabelko served as director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He continues to work as a senior advisor to the Wilson Center.
Dr. Dabelko knows climate change but also knows how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of governmental policies.
Although President Trump, when he signed new Executive orders last week nullifying most of President Obama’s climate change efforts, told coal miners that they would be getting their jobs back, Dr. Dabelko doubts that is true. He argues that economics are preventing coal jobs and not climate regulations. The whole energy field, according to Dabelko, has moved beyond coal and into cheaper and cleaner fuels.
He also explains how the new Trump policies could interfere with economic growth in the clean energy sector giving advantages to China and other European countries like France and Germany over the United States in developing new products and processes.
Dr. Dabelko states that it will be a long, complicated and difficult process for the Trump Administration and its EPA to rewrite the Clean Power Plan and its regulations that closed hundreds of coal-fueled power plants and halted construction on others.
He also believes it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the United States to extricate itself from the 2015 multi-country Paris Agreement on climate change actions. Instead, he believes that the Trump Administration just will not have the USA comply with the provisions of the accord.
Dr. Dabelko also notes that 13 to 15 states have adopted President Obama’s approach to climate change actions and those states will challenge, in court, the dismantling of the similar federal statutes and regulations. In short, lawsuits over President Trump’s actions will abound slowing his dismantling efforts.