Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon dioxide are nowhere to be found in the Environmental Protection Agency’s four-year strategic plan.
The recently released 38-page draft of the EPA plan instead focuses on cleaning up the environment, and it proposes redistributing certain federal responsibilities to the states.
The agency is accepting public feedback on the plan until the end of October, and it is scheduled to submit the proposal to Congress for approval in February.
Although EPA chief Scott Pruitt does not deny climate change exists — a contrast from other members of Donald Trump’s Cabinet — he questions the role humans play in this drastic environmental shift.
Donald Trump began his presidency by purging the White House website of any references to climate change. In March he signed an executive order to review the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era legislation that regulates greenhouse gas emissions. And over the summer Trump discussed removing the U.S. from the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Accord, an agreement among some 195 countries to moderate climate change.
Pruitt followed up on the March EO on Tuesday, announcing the EPA would repeal the Clean Power Plan, since it treated energy providers unfairly.
“The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country,” Pruitt said Monday during the announcement. “The war on coal is over.”
A new coal mine opened in Pennsylvania during the summer — the first in years — and more in Alabama, West Virginia, and Wyoming are scheduled to open soon. The president opposes wind power due to how many birds it kills, and Trump’s social media statements suggest he does not believe in climate change.
“Among the lowest temperatures EVER in much of the United States. Ice caps at record size. Changed name from GLOBAL WARMING to CLIMATE CHANGE,” Trump tweeted in 2015, consistent with his climate change opinions since 2013. “It’s late in July and it is really cold outside in New York. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING??? We need some fast! It’s now CLIMATE CHANGE.”