Amid much fanfare yesterday, President Trump announced an executive order intended to roll back Obama administration climate policies. The executive order (like many of Trump’s actions to date) is largely ceremonial, however. Whether or not Trump has a lasting effect on climate policy will depend on actions taken in the years ahead, not on what happened yesterday.
The order largely instructs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back a series of regulations issued over the past eight years. The most prominent of these is the Clean Power Plan, an enormously complex regulation governing power plant emissions that was the centerpiece of Obama administration attempts to comply with the Paris climate treaty.