×

Trump executive orders to scale back Obama-era coal, carbon and water actions: Report

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on October 10, 2016.
Dominick Reuter | AFP | Getty Images
Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on October 10, 2016.

President Donald Trump plans to sign executive orders to revise Obama-era initiatives on carbon emissions from power plants, coal mining on federal land and government authority over bodies of water, The Washington Post reports.

The story cites individuals briefed on the proposals and adds new details to previous reports on efforts by the Trump administration to shake up the Environmental Protection Agency's climate change efforts through executive action.

The efforts will take some time to implement and are likely to draw legal challenges.

The Post reports Trump will order the EPA to rewrite the Clean Power Plan, a core part of President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions and meet its commitments to the Paris Agreement, an international accord aimed at moderating the impacts of climate change.

The rule requires states to devise plans to significantly cut carbon emissions from power plants and was expected to impact coal-fired plants in particular. The Supreme Court delayed implementation as the U.S. District Court considers legal challenges to the rule.

Trump is also expected to end Obama's moratorium on leasing land for coal mining on federal land, which has been in place since December, 2015, the Post said.

He will also instruct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to revise the Waters of the United States regulation, sources told the Post. The 2015 regulation expands U.S. authority over major bodies of water to include wetlands, rivers and streams.

The president intends to sign the actions during a visit to the EPA headquarters, policy newsletter Inside EPA reported last week, citing an administration source.

The White House did not return CNBC's request for comment.

Staff at the EPA have been told that Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders to reshape the agency, Reuters reported last week. The news service cited two sources who attended the meeting.

A senior EPA official who had been briefed by members of the Trump administration mentioned the executive orders at a meeting of staffers in the EPA's Office of General Counsel on Tuesday, but did not provide details about what the orders would say, said the sources, who asked not to be named.

Inside EPA's source did not share the contents of the planned executive actions, but told Inside EPA they would "suck the air out" of the room.

Myron Ebell, who directed EPA staffing for the Trump transition team, told Inside EPA in a Feb. 7 interview that he expected a rollback of the EPA's climate change programs to be delivered in one or more executive orders.

The Inside EPA source said one of the planned executive actions will be directed at the State Department. Inside EPA said that suggests it may relate to the Paris Agreement, which Trump has threatened to abandon or defund.

One of Reuters' sources said attendees at the EPA staff meeting were told Trump would sign between two and five executive orders.

Read the full Washington Post report here.

— Reuters contributed to this report.