Position paper.docx - Tran 1 Khanh D Tran Professor Bey...

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Tran 1 Khanh D. Tran Professor Bey WRT100 04 April 2017 Carbon Dioxide Emission Restriction and a Cleaner Energy Independence Climate change is considered the biggest threat to the future of humanity. It causes fundamental changes in the structure of the environment and threatens many lives on Earth. The Obama administration has spent considerable efforts coordinating with the international community to establish policies to fight back climate change. However, the present President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has a quite contradictory attitude toward climate issues. For the growth of the economy, he is willing to dismantle the very foundations of his predecessor’s government-wide effort to combat climate change. His recent statement supporting the coal industry, the main source of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the primary contributor to global warming, worries many environmental activists (“President Trump: Putting Coal Country Back to Work”). As the U.S. main institution responsible for environmental issues, the Environmental Protection Agency needs to ensure the continuity of the previous government’s policies on climate change, which restrict carbon dioxide emission from power plants, and encourage the growth of renewable energy industry. The Trump administration is expected to roll back many of President Obama’s signature climate-change policies, especially the Clean Power Plan, which requires utilities to reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The plan is a historic and important step of the U.S. in facing climate change. With “strong but achievable standards for power plants,” the plan is expected to reduce considerably carbon pollution and strengthen the fast-growing trend toward cleaner energy. It also shows the world the United
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Tran 2 States responsibility in leading global efforts to address climate change (“Clean Power Plan”). However, the Clean Power Plan is being reviewed by the EPA under the Energy Independence Executive Order, signed by President Trump on March 28, 2017, which will also rescind several Obama executive orders and policies related to climate change. Under the order, the plan is regarded as a regulatory barrier which burdens the growth of the pro-energy independence and has a negative effect on the economy (“EPA to Review the Clean Power Plan”). Many environmental groups, Democrats and even current EPA employees worry the Trump administration will make climate issues worse. Climate change currently leads to many catastrophic consequences for the environment. Through observations over earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances, compelling evidence has been revealed for us to see the big picture of rapid climate change. From the data collected over years, NASA shows us tremendous changes in primary elements of the climate in recent years. Global sea levels rose about 17 centimeters in the last century. The global average temperatures are 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899
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