The President’s Executive Order rolling back climate change-related initiatives, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” just came out today, and there’s already plenty of analysis to help people to understand its likely impact. While the short answer is that it is terrible for our country, the long answers tend to make people’s eyes glaze over if they’re not climate policy wonks. And as has been widely reported, there’s a lot of misinformation about climate policy out there in the world. But there’s also some excellent synthesis and analysis out there that can help people with limited time, who don’t get paid to understand climate policy, to understand what’s happening. I’ll highlight some of that analysis here so that readers can more easily find reliable, thoughtful sources of information in this era of information overload.
First, Vox.com is a great go-to source for basic information and analysis about climate policy, explained in terms that non-experts can grasp easily. Vox has a dynamic page where they are collecting all their insightful posts about the provisions and likely impacts of the executive order. This post by Brad Plumer explains the basic provisions of the order. Other posts focus on the way the order will put vulnerable communities at risk by reversing policies that required the government to consider the impacts of climate change, the reasons the order won’t bring back coal jobs, and other related issues.
Second, we’re covering these issues here at Legal Planet, of course. Dan Farber has posted his initial thoughts about the most significant ways the executive order is likely to reverse important policies to address climate change and harm public health and the environment. Ann Carlson has explained the relationship between U.S. climate policies covered in the order and the U.S.’s ability to meet its international commitments under the Paris Agreement. And I put the administration’s rhetoric and policies into context by writing about the benefits the EPA’s work have conferred on Americans over the past 47 years. There will certainly be more analysis from our bloggers in the weeks and months to come.
Finally, there is plenty of excellent media coverage on these issues in traditional media. For example, at the Washington Post, Chris Mooney often offers insight into climate policy, and his reporting on the new administration continues to be sound and useful. He reported today on the international reaction to the Executive Order. And Robinson Meyer‘s reporting for the Atlantic on climate, energy, and the environment has been deep and thoughtful. He offers his take on the Executive Order here.