Predicting the Effects of Trump’s Executive Orders


Since President Trump’s inauguration in January, the energy industry has awaited a series of executive orders to review the Clean Power Plan and loosen restrictions on coal production. Those orders are expected to take place this week.

The President will most likely begin the process of eliminating the Clean Power Plan and ending a moratorium on coal mining on federal lands. White House officials told Reuters that rescinding the federal coal-leasing moratorium is part of an upcoming executive order.

But repealing the Clean Power Plan would have significant impacts on the United States’ economy and the health of its citizens, according to new analysis from Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank. A model by Energy Innovation’s Jeffrey Rissman and published by Forbes outlines some of the possible consequences of the United States’ abandonment of this climate regulation.

“Repealing the Clean Power Plan would be a terrible mistake,” writes Rissman. “A repeal would increase costs to the US economy by hundreds of billions of dollars, cut years off the lives of tens of thousands of Americans, and sacrifice US technological leadership and job creation.”

Rissman’s statement is based on models created by an open-source tool called the Energy Policy Simulator. The simulator is used to estimate the long-term effects of energy policies. Its models have been peer reviewed by scientists at MIT, Stanford University, Berkeley National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The model Rissman produced indicates that repeal could have significant impacts on the US economy and the health of its citizens. In fact, by 2030 the study shows that the repeal would lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 500 million metric tons. By 2050, the amount rises to 1,200 million metric tons. “Repealing the CPP would increase particulate emissions, causing more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030 and more than 120,000 premature deaths in 2050,” Rissman explains.

Beyond health, the model predicts that repealing the Clean Power Plan would also have a significant effect on the US generation mix, allowing more coal to serve as grid support. In fact, it estimates that the grid would feature about 246 GW of coal capacity in 2030, 55% more than it forecasts to be in service in 2030 if the Clean Power Plan were kept in place. 

Repeal would also limit the amount of wind and solar integration, according to the model. Wind capacity in 2030 would be about 35% lower than with the climate rules and solar is estimated to be 23% lower than it would be under the Clean Power Plan. 

Although a variety of factors will affect the future generation mix and carbon emission levels, it will be interesting to observe whether the US follows the model’s estimates. What are your predictions? DE_bug_web


  • Larry Harris.

    I really appreciate your stance on many controversial issues and am reminded of an old proverb that I don’t know where it came from but goes something like; “He who speaks the truth must have one foot in the stirrup.” Please keep up the good work!

  • Jonathan McClelland.

    The optimist in me predicts that some regions of the USA will push forward in deploying expanded wind and solar at accelerated rates and enjoy stable power pricing and clean air while the coal and rust belt continues to suffer more and more. Eventually, the disparity of economic and environmental well being will be so great that even the most stubborn surviving proponents of dirty energy will be so severely burdened by their refusal to accept positive change that they will capitulate. The optimist in me also believes that this will be in time to avoid an irreversible cataclysmic climate shift. The realist in me isn’t so confident.

  • Remember this is based on a model, the model can be biased to the model developers desired outcome. Global warming models–future prediction of weather. Hard to predict weather 2 weeks from now!!

  • Michael M..

    Is it me, or is this also a prediction that Trump is going to be our US President until 2030? If he serves one term, is this article giving facts that in a 4 year period, those amounts will occur? Or if the polices are changed back once a new US President is elected and restart what is undone by Trump? I support green energy, and am confident his undoing will not last long.


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