Trump Eyes EPA Changes via Executive Order after Healthcare Fail
After the defeat of his replacement for Obamacare, President Trump has switched his focus to the environment. His latest executive order is set to revise the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by cutting out some of its powers to enforce regulations intended to manage climate change concerns. The President hopes to boost employment for several industries, particularly coal miners, who have been hit hard by the new fossil fuel limitations imposed by the Obama administration.
Trump Does an About-Face on Climate Change
Trump targeted at least six executive orders drafted by President Obama for elimination under the new directive. President Trump has described global warming as a Chinese plot to raise the costs of manufacturing within the United States. The EPA’s new Administrator, Scott Pruitt, echoed the need for a change in direction in terms of environmental policy. As the Attorney General for Oklahoma, Pruitt helped lead the legal fight against the Clean Power Plan, which President Obama created to cut greenhouse gas production by a third over the course of the next 15 years.
Trump Stance Places Paris Accords in Jeopardy
Obama took ownership of the global emissions campaign. He also organized the Paris Accords drafted in a conference in 2015. This climate treaty obligated the United States to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent. The United States successfully ratified the treaty. Still, the U.S. court system put its provisions on hold in order to allow to review the legality of several of its sections.
Trump has made several statements pointing to a possible departure from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which would automatically close out the country’s participation in the Paris treaty. This action would make it more difficult for America to ask China and India, the world’s leading polluters, to scale back on their emissions, as they also have a strong case for placing GDP growth above ecological concerns.
Change in Environmental Policy Partly Due to Politics
Of course, there are political implications for the Trump White House, as well as economic and environmental ones. Most of the jobs that are threatened by tougher standards for pollution are located in the swing states that gave Trump the edge in the Electoral College, even as he lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes. In order to boost the chances of the Republican Party in the midterm elections in 2018, Trump and the Republican leadership need to focus on the issues that appeal to this demographic, including the economy and unemployment.
Swing State Voters Backed Trump’s Health Care Efforts
Going back to core issues that can be fixed immediately is even more crucial in the wake of the failed attempt to replace the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. The Act reformed the medical insurance industry, and guaranteed access to health care for a large number of Americans. However, the new system negatively affected many middle class citizens who had previously received health insurance through their employers.
Some businesses laid off workers. Other individuals sought expensive health insurance on the open market, or paid a fine for not seeking coverage. Several Trump supporters noted that his dislike for the existing healthcare setup was a major factor in their voting decision. Unfortunately, Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House withdrew the replacement bill from consideration. It soon became clear that many Republican legislators were not going to back the statute as written. This early failure strengthened the Democratic opposition. Many conservatives wondered if Trump had placed too much emphasis on his role as a negotiator.
How Do the New Environmental Standards Affect Trading?
Market analysts have pointed to Trump’s policy of encouraging the oil industry. They say that it harms the coal industry as much as the EPA’s environmental safeguards. Low oil costs lead businesses to select oil and gas energy alternatives over coal. If the Trump administration presses forward with a strategic effort to help the coal miners, this could cause oil prices to drop, in response to even more severe gluts than are currently in existence.
Additionally, the dollar could fall if the United States is no longer a strong leader in policy. A weak dollar hurts American businesses that rely on imports, leading to lower index values for the Dow and the S & P 500. Stock prices for specific companies such as Wal-Mart and Target would also suffer if the U.S. economy begins to fail.