In wake of the unexpected election of Donald Trump as the next US president, citizens and decisionmakers in the United States and elsewhere are contemplating how the new administration will shape the policy landscape going forward. As his team begins preparing for the transition to the White House, questions remain, including those related to energy and climate policy. At this point, it is relatively unclear what effect the new president will have on existing and future environmental policies—but the result of the election has added uncertainty to ongoing international climate negotiations, including the Paris Agreement, which President-Elect Trump pledged to “cancel.”
In a blog post this week, RFF’s Nathan Richardson assesses the potential impact of the Trump administration on existing policies and regulations, including the Paris Agreement, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Power Plan. In a major campaign speech outlining his first 100 days in office, President-Elect Trump promised to rescind the Clean Power Plan. Richardson notes that following through on this promise may be multifaceted and involve continued litigation before it can be fulfilled. “The Clean Power Plan…is a final rulemaking and is therefore federal law. It cannot be discarded at the stroke of a pen,” says Richardson. “Back-and-forth rounds of litigation and rulemaking dragging on for years are possible.” As the United States prepares for a new leader, changes to the existing structure and future implementation of new policies remain widely uncertain.