"How Abrupt U-Turns Are Defining U.S. Environmental Regulations"

"The polarization of politics means that rules are imposed, gutted and restored with each election. Experts say that’s bad for the economy."

"The Biden administration’s move on Thursday to strictly limit pollution from coal-burning power plants is a major policy shift. But in many ways it’s one more hairpin turn in a zigzag approach to environmental regulation in the United States, a pattern that has grown more extreme as the political landscape has become more polarized.

Nearly a decade ago, President Barack Obama was the Democrat who tried to force power plants to stop burning coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels. His Republican successor, Donald J. Trump, effectively reversed that plan. Now President Biden is trying once more to put an end to carbon emissions from coal plants. But Mr. Trump, who is running to replace Mr. Biden, has promised that he will again delete those plans if he wins in November.

The country’s participation in the Paris climate accord has followed the same swerving path: Under Mr. Obama, the United States joined the global commitment to fight climate change, only for Mr. Trump to pull the U.S. out of it, and for Mr. Biden to rejoin. If Mr. Trump wins the presidency, he is likely to exit the accord. Again.

Government policies have always shifted between Democratic and Republican administrations, but they have generally stayed in place and have been tightened or loosened along a spectrum, depending on the occupant of the White House."

Coral Davenport reports for the New York Times April 26, 2024.


"Five Major Climate Policies Trump Would Probably Reverse if Elected" (New York Times)

"Election Of Donald Trump ‘Could Put World’s Climate Goals At Risk’" (Guardian)

Source: NYTimes, 04/29/2024