Climate Change
June 29, 2017
Is the climate change debate shifting?

The Trump administration has triggered new concerns over the future of U.S. climate change policies. On June 1, the president announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which seeks to cut the greenhouse gases that scientists say are causing Earth’s climate to warm. Trump also has signed executive orders that revise or rescind Obama-era environmental regulations in an effort to promote energy independence, coal mining and economic growth. The administration also has proposed slashing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s fiscal 2018 budget by 31 percent. The administration’s moves come as global temperatures and sea levels continue to rise. Scientists, environmentalists and members of the public have responded by holding marches in support of science and of policies to address climate change.

Protester Karl Aldinger supports action against climate change. (AFP/Getty Images/Sandy Huffaker) Protester Karl Aldinger supports action against climate change during a rally in San Diego on Feb. 21. (AFP/Getty Images/Sandy Huffaker)

As the Trump administration rolls back Obama-era environmental protections and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces steep budget cuts, many scientists and members of the public see U.S. climate change policies as under attack.

In March, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at undoing the Obama administration’s climate change efforts. The order directs agencies to focus on energy independence and economic growth by reviewing regulations “that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources” and by rescinding or rewriting regulations considered burdensome. 1