Today, the White House signed an executive order dismantling the Clean Power Plan and reversing the Obama administration’s moratorium on coal leases. This is the response from Institute for Policy Studies climate policy expert Basav Sen:
“The orders issued today reversing the Obama administration’s efforts at combating climate change are nothing short of an escalating war on the Earth’s atmosphere and on the people — disproportionately poor and people of color — who stand to lose the most from climate change.
Among other outrages, Trump wants to kill the Clean Power Plan, end the Interior Department’s moratorium on coal leases on federal land, and remove the requirement for federal agencies to account for the climate impacts of their decisions.
The message is clear: the Trump regime will subsidize coal, oil, and gas barons to extract, pollute, and dump waste freely to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. Communities are left on their own to deal with the adverse effects of this government-assisted pillage.
The Trump administration claims that their assault on the future of humanity is motivated by jobs. However, research shows that every $1 million invested in solar photovoltaic energy infrastructure creates 13.4 jobs, while every $1 million invested in oil and gas infrastructure creates only 10.5 jobs. If the administration truly wanted to create American jobs while preserving a livable planet for our children and maximizing the return from every dollar invested, it would roll out an ambitious renewable energy expansion plan instead of wasting taxpayer money subsidizing dirty energy.
We must pressure our cities and states to respond to federal inaction and regression by acting to address the climate crisis on their own. Fortunately, many have them have already started acting on solutions even more effective than the Clean Power Plan to reduce our country’s fossil fuel use, expand solar and wind energy, and make solar energy more accessible for low-income people — all while creating good jobs and ensuring historically excluded people get hired for those jobs.
California alone has produced the kind of comprehensive climate plan one would expect from a sovereign nation. Others like Illinois, Oregon, and in Trump’s backyard — DC, are a model for the local action our cities and states can take to help prevent a global climate catastrophe independent of this administration. Most recently, Maryland is demonstrating what a responsible course of action looks like by banning fracking statewide, even while the federal government tries to drag the nation backwards.”
See Sen’s recent op ed in U.S. News and World Report, “Trump’s War on the Climate” here.
Available for comment:
Basav Sen, IPS Climate Policy Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-997-0479
His work focuses on climate solutions at the national, state, and local level that also address racial, economic, gender and other forms of inequality.