President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order curbing the federal government’s enforcement of climate regulations, a move that represents a sharp reversal from his predecessor’s position.
The Obama administration put in place a number of programs that attempted to address the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels and temperatures.
Trump said those actions harmed American businesses.
“With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations,” he said at an event marking the signing of the executive order.
Here’s a look at six climate change policies affected by Trump’s executive orders:
Climate Action Plan
This 2013 plan rolled out by President Barack Obama focused on three areas: cutting carbon pollution in America, preparing infrastructure for the impact of climate change and making the United States a global leader on efforts to combat climate change.
It also called for reduction of greenhouse gases, a strategy on methane and a commitment to protect forests.
Trump’s executive order rescinded the plan.
Executive order on climate change
Obama instructed the federal government to prepare for the impact of climate change in a 2013 executive order.
It created a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, charged with overseeing such a national effort. The council was made up of representatives from across the federal government to work with a task force of state, local and tribal leadership also created by Obama’s order.
On Tuesday, Trump revoked Obama’s executive order.
Clean Power Plan
This 2015 plan limits carbon pollution from power plants.
It sets goals of reducing greenhouse emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. It also requires states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their individual energy consumption and offers states incentives for early deployment of renewable energy.
The Clean Power Plan is not in effect pending a challenge in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Critics, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, say it was the Obama “administration’s effort to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan.”
Under Trump’s executive order, Pruitt is to review three of the rules in the plan and decide how to deal with them.
Moratorium on federal coal program
The Obama administration placed a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands in 2016. The move didn’t affect leases already in effect but paused new applications.
Environmentalists had long criticized the practice, saying coal companies paid so little for their leases that the US government and taxpayers were subsidizing coal production, which harmed health and the environment.
The former administration wanted more transparency, including a public database on the carbon emitted from fossil fuels developed on public lands.
Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to lift the moratorium.
“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Trump said.
Climate change’s ‘growing threat to national security’
This presidential memo in 2016 outlined the “growing threat to national security” that climate change poses.
It stated that federal government policy was “to ensure that the current impacts of climate change, and those anticipated in the coming decades, be identified and considered” in terms of national security policies and plans.
That memo and two others were revoked Tuesday.
Waters of the United States
This 2015 rule put the Environmental Protection Agency in charge of protecting streams and wetlands, with the aim of protecting water sources from “pollution and degradation,” according to an EPA statement at the time. It gives the government the authority to protect ponds and other small bodies of water from pollution.
Trump signed an executive order in February calling for a review of the rule.
“The EPA’s so-called ‘Waters of the United States’ rule is one of the worst examples of federal regulation,” he said on February 28, calling it “very destructive and horrible.”
There was no mention of the rule or review by Trump on Tuesday but he said the measures he was taking enhance the environment.
“This will allow the EPA to focus on its primary mission of protecting our air and protecting our water,” he said.