As President Trump moved this week to halt federal efforts to slow climate change, his executive order on energy and climate also directed agencies to retreat from efforts to help cities and counties adapt to the effects of warming temperatures.
Tuesday’s executive order rescinded directives issued by President Obama in 2013 and 2015, which sought to better protect Americans from floods, wildfires, heat waves and other disasters that are being amplified by greenhouse gas pollution.
The order followed a budget proposal by the White House to eliminate federal spending on a wide range of programs that partner with local governments, scientists and industry to help Americans cope with everything from rising temperatures to rising seas.
“The real worry here is that we’re not just dealing with an administration that is benign, or that is unmoved by the evidence of climate change,” said Cooper Martin, a sustainability official with the National League of Cities. “We’re potentially dealing with an administration that’s actively hostile to what local governments are trying to do.”
Among other things, Obama’s 2013 and 2015 directives created task forces of local, state and tribal leaders that produced recommendations upon which the federal government has been acting. If any of that work is found by the Trump administration to “burden” the energy industry, Trump’s order calls for it to be ended.
Experts are worried that ongoing efforts by federal agencies to help local governments cope with climate change will end — regardless of whether they’re found to burden energy producers.
Read more at Trump Order Targets Local Efforts to Adapt to Warming