January 20, 2017 by Steven Mufson and Brady Dennis
The energy page on the new White House website, which went up within moments of Friday’s inauguration, reiterates the priorities Trump had voiced during the campaign, from focusing on “energy independence” to promising to scale back the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency.
It also appeared to remove any reference to combating climate change, a topic that had been featured prominently on the White House site under President Barack Obama. The page that once detailed the potential consequences of climate change and the Obama administration’s efforts to address it vanished on Friday just as President Trump was sworn in. It now redirected to a broken link: “The requested page ‘/energy/climate-change’ could not be found.”
In its place, listed among the top issues of the Trump administration, was a page entitled, “An America First Energy Plan.”
The incoming administration vows to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies” such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule. The first represents a variety of efforts Obama pursued to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, while the second is a rule issued by the EPA to protect not only the largest waterways but smaller tributaries that others believe should fall under the jurisdiction of states rather than the federal government.
The new White House site says that Trump would “refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.”
It also says the incoming president will pursue “clean coal technology,” a reference to efforts to remove carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning plants and bury those emissions in the ground to use them to enhance oil recovery. The Obama Energy Department has already been funding a variety of projects in this area. Though, without nearby enhanced oil recovery projects, the technology is not economic. Trump’s White House site says the new administration would aim at “reviving America’s coal industry.”