WASHINGTON, D.C, March 28, 2017 – This afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order to initiate the roll-back of the Obama Administration’s climate policies. While the Niskanen Center argues that a revenue-neutral carbon tax would lead to better environmental outcomes at less cost than regulations, we recognize that the Clean Air Act requires that the federal government regulate greenhouse gases in order to lessen the risks of climate change. Today’s order falls short of those requirements.
“Facts don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican, but Democrats and Republicans should care about facts. And when it comes to climate, the fact is that it’s real, it’s on us, and it poses massive risks.” said Joseph Majkut, director of climate science. “We know that we can avoid the worst of it by cutting emissions, planning for the future, and maintaining our climate science capacity.”
After today’s executive order, “the Trump Administration is batting 0-for-3,” Majkut added.
“With much of the electricity sector already on the road to emissions reductions, Obama’s big-ticket climate policies would have had a limited effect, so the Trump Administration’s decision to eliminate them is not the end of the world,” said Jerry Taylor, president of the Niskanen Center. “However, basic physics didn’t stop working on January 20, so it is good that the core elements behind Obama’s policies–the Paris Agreement and EPA’s endangerment finding–still stand.”
Taylor added: “Going forward, Republicans should look for practical legislative solutions that will take climate decisions away from EPA, put a price on carbon, and settle the political fight over climate for the foreseeable future.”
The Niskanen Center is a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.