Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies
The Associated Press
April 3, 2017
From abortion to energy to climate change and personal investments, Trump is keeping his promises in methodically overturning regulations and policies adopted when Barack Obama was president.
Trump signed an executive order last week to deliver on his pledge to unravel Obama’s efforts to curb global warming. The order launched a review of the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s chief effort to curb carbon emissions by restricting greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. Trump also lifted a 14-month-old halt on new coal leases on federal lands. The Obama administration had imposed a three-year freeze on such leases in January of last year.
Trump is expected to sign legislation erasing another Obama rule, one that barred states from withholding federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood affiliates and other clinics that provide abortions. The rule was finalized shortly before Obama left office in January.
KEYSTONE XL OIL PIPELINE
Trump greenlighted the long-delayed project on March 24, reversing Obama’s decision less than 18 months earlier. After Trump invited TransCanada, the Canadian company building the $8 billion pipeline, to resubmit its application, the State Department approved the project, saying it would advance U.S. national interests. Obama had said the project would not.
DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
Under Obama, the Army Corps of Engineers had declined in December to allow pipeline construction under South Dakota’s Lake Oahe on grounds that alternate routes needed to be considered.
The project has moved forward again under Trump, who acted shortly after taking office.
FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS
The Trump administration is re-examining federal requirements governing the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks. In 2012, the Obama administration set fuel economy regulations for model years 2017-2025 and agreed to complete a midterm evaluation by next year. Then, days before Obama left office, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to keep stringent requirements it had set in place for model years 2022-2025.
The auto industry balked. Trump announced in Michigan that he’s putting the midterm review back on track. His decision has no immediate effect but requires the EPA to determine no later than April 2018 whether the 2022-2025 standards are appropriate.
Obama was his administration’s biggest cheerleader for the sweeping agreement involving the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. But the Senate needed to ratify it, and bipartisan opposition basically doomed it before he left office.
As a candidate, Trump railed against this agreement and pledged to withdraw from it, saying he was a better negotiator and could strike better deals. Shortly after taking office, he directed the U.S. trade representative to withdraw and said he would pursue individual deals with the other countries.
ABORTION/MEXICO CITY POLICY
Trump reinstated a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information about them. Obama had lifted the ban when he took office in 2009.
Trump has instructed the Department of Labor to delay an Obama-era rule that would require financial professionals who charge commissions to put their clients’ best interests first when advising them on retirement investments.