While Americans focus on the Gorsuch hearings and the possibility that the entire Trump palace guard was spooning caviar with Vladimir Putin last year, the minutiae that defines the administrative posture of every presidency begins to influence Cabinet departments and administrative agencies. By shredding eight years of environmental policy, we embarrass ourselves before the rest of the civilized world:
According to the draft, Mr. Trump is also expected to announce that he will lift a moratorium on new coal mining leases on public lands that had been announced last year by the Obama administration.
He is also expected to order White House economists to revisit an Obama-era budgeting metric known as the social cost of carbon. Economists and policy makers used the metric to place a dollar cost on the economic impact of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution: about $36 per ton. That measure formed the Obama administration’s economic justification for issuing climate change regulations that would harm some industries, such as coal mining, noting that those costs would be outweighed by the economic benefits of preventing billions of tons of planet-warming pollution.
Eliminating or lowering the social cost of carbon could provide the Trump administration the economic justification for putting forth less-stringent regulations.
The draft order would also rescind an executive order by Mr. Obama that all federal agencies take climate change into account when considering any form of environmental permitting.
Buried in the story’s last third is a suggestion that some of these measures may take years to implement, if at all. But The Signal is Sent to the bureaucracies.