President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to drastically alter the U.S.’s direction on climate and energy. His promises include actions like “canceling” the Paris agreement and dismantling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as repealing restrictions on domestic energy development. Trump infamously tweeted that global warming is a “hoax,” and has selected Myron Ebell of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, an outspoken climate skeptic, to lead his EPA transition team. Trump also made specific (and ambiguous) promises about energy and climate on his Web site and on the campaign trail, such as canceling funding for the United Nations Green Climate Fund and lifting restrictions on fossil fuel development. He has sworn to make some of these changes early on, even within his first 100 days in office. But what can he actually accomplish from the get-go?
The president-elect will not have as much power as his declarations suggest. Many of his plans will take a huge amount of time and energy—and sometimes, the cooperation of Congress. He is also likely to encounter countless lawsuits and bureaucratic roadblocks that will frustrate his efforts. “I don’t want to dismiss the impact of Trump’s victory, it will slow down action [on] climate change,” explains Jason Bordoff, professor of professional practice in international and public affairs at Columbia University, “But I would say that for many of the things he’s promised, we will only see an impact on the margin—it’ll pale in comparison to Trump’s rhetoric.”
Other experts agree. “He may be announcing a bunch of things on his first day, it’s totally possible for him to sign a bunch of executive orders that say he’s going to do things,” says Jody Freeman, a professor of law at Harvard University and director of its Environmental Law and Policy Program, “But it’s very difficult to effectuate everything without going through the process.” That said, the U.S.’s course on energy and the environment will inevitably shift under the Trump administration.
Read more (Scientific American)