Restoring Environmental Guidelines Rolled Again by Trump May Take Years
“We really don’t have a minute to lose,” he said, calling on the major economies to withdraw coal five times faster than declining, ramp up renewable energies six times faster, and switch to electricity vehicles 22 times faster than the current one Tempo.
All of this would require aggressive domestic climate policies, but just reversing Trump policies would typically take two years or more. For example, the Trump EPA overturned the Obama administration’s largest single policy to curb climate change, a rule that forced automakers to rapidly increase the fuel economy of passenger cars, drastically reducing their heat-storing carbon pollution. To do this, the EPA had to go a long way in law, formally publish a proposal to change the rule, open it to public comment, develop legal, economic and scientific justifications for the rule, and perform complex technical analyzes of the effects of the new rule on traffic safety, air quality and consumer behavior.
Although the Trump administration began withdrawing the Obama auto-pollution rule in the first few days of taking office, it wasn’t finalized until last spring.
The same schedule could be waiting for Mr Biden when he tries to reinstate the rule.
“It’s a tedious, time-consuming process,” said Richard Revesz, professor of environmental law at New York University, who was shortlisted by Mr. Biden to head the EPA
“Nobody questions the authority of the EPA to reinstate these auto-pollution regulations,” Revesz said. “But they can’t just make sure that the Trump rules are dropped by order of the executive. You have to follow the same process – prepare all scientific and economic analyzes, and you have to do everything right. “
Revesz noted that when the Obama administration first introduced the auto-pollution rule a decade ago, a lot has changed since then, including the economy, the auto industry, and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the Planets warmed in the atmosphere. Therefore, Mr. Biden’s EPO staff will have to redo all of this work with the current data.
And he noted that after four years of shrinking the EPA’s staff and budget, the agency is now being asked to do far more with far fewer resources.