Trump Dismantles Climate Goals For Federal Agencies

May 18, 2018

President Obama issued an executive order that required federal agencies to use 25 percent clean energy sources by 2025. These solar panels power a USDA Forest Service station in Los Padres National Forest.
Credit Courtesy USDA Forest Service

President Trump just dismantled policies requiring federal agencies reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and meet other environmental targets.

President Obama issued an order in 2015 that said federal agencies should reduce their emissions by 40 percent in 10 years. It also mandated a reduction in energy and water use in federal buildings. As a result, many agencies took steps toward conservation and clean energy — like installing solar panels on Forest Service buildings. 

Trump wants government agencies to focus on cost and efficiency instead of meeting specific environmental targets.

"They’re buzz words. I mean who is against efficiency, right?" says John Freemuth, professor of public policy at Boise State University. "I wouldn’t expect too many of these agencies to do anything regarding impacts on climate, given the policy directions we’ve seen elsewhere in this administration." 

The Trump Administration has also cut research to monitor climate change and reversed other green policies like standards to reduce vehicle emissions citing those standards as too high. 

Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.