As President Trump’s first 100 days of presidency come to a close, over twenty executive orders put in place reflect a drastic threat to renewable energy progression. Trump is looking to release any restriction of coal emissions, free protected land, halt funding on environmental projects; keeping his campaign promise to ‘create jobs’, no matter the cost of our planet’s declining health. A few of these changes include placing the Clean Power Plan under review, allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward, revoking restrictions on Methane gas emissions on public land, and lifting the review of greenhouse gas emissions. Much of the progress put forth by President Obama is likely to be overturned, certainly placing a storm cloud over the battle to create a cleaner, better planet. Despite this, now is a better time than ever to become informed and educated on green energy and use our voices to fight back.
What this means for Our Environment
The Clean Power Plan, which was put forth under the Obama administration in June of 2014 aimed for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation and coal burning power plants. Trump signed an executive order on March 28th, 2017 to re-evaluate the Clean Power Plan. Republicans found the Clean Power Plan highly threatening to the coal industry due to the heavy restriction placed on carbon dioxide emissions from current coal and power plants. The Clean Power Plan is on a freeze until the review process is completed. A repeal to the Clean Power Plan would lead to an unyielding increase in carbon dioxide emissions. According to Energy Innovation’s Energy Policy Simulator, that is more than 1,200 metric tons by the year 2020.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (D.A.P.L.) began its construction development in March of 2016 after over 2 years of planning and gaining access to state territories. From there, the pipeline construction has experienced rigorous protesting against the environmental concerns facing the result. Conservation groups, including Greenpeace and The Science and Environmental Health Network, are concerned about the impacts to the air, wildlife, and water in lieu of the pipeline disrupting. There is also a risk factor of increasing the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite being argued otherwise, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that extracting oil from tar sands creates more greenhouse gases due to the fact that the oil will be being pulled at a much faster rate, releasing the greenhouse gases more rapidly. On January 24th, 2017, Trump signed an executive order for the advancement of D.A.P.L. despite heavy protests.
These two executive orders put in place by Trump in his first 100 days of office are few of the many stunting the advancement for a cleaner Earth. Despite this, we have the resources to prove we are not broken and do not need to stop trying. There are small ways we can go green that are as simple as swapping those plastic water bottles with an eco-friendly reusable bottle. An easy way to create an even larger impact is by switching your home to solar energy. CODE Green Solar offers solar panel installation at a zero-dollar down process while saving you money each month on your electricity bill. Not to mention, saving the earth of over 6,000 lbs. of air pollution per one solar panel system. Going solar creates contribution to the sustainability of the greener, brighter planet that we are capable of having. President Trump may attempt to stand in the way, but he cannot take away the resources and potential that we have to continue on our path to going green.