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Rolling back Obama's Clean Power Plan: U-M experts can discuss

EXPERTS ADVISORY

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week to begin the process of undoing the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

University of Michigan experts are available to discuss this topic, as well as the broader issue of environmental protection under the Trump administration.

Mark Barteau is director of the U-M Energy Institute, the DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research and a professor of chemical engineering. He can discuss what Trump can and can't do with regard to dismantling the Obama administration's steps toward reducing emissions, and also what steps he is likely to take.

"The Clean Power Plan has been put on hold by the courts, but one should not forget that the Environmental Protection Agency's responsibility to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court," he said. "This sets up a potential conflict among the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

"President Trump and his EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, may contend that this law should not cover greenhouse gas emissions, and the Republican-controlled Congress may hollow out the EPA's budget, but EPA's responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases will remain unless existing law is modified by Congress or by a Supreme Court returned to full strength with Trump appointees."

Barteau has written essays in The Conversation titled "What President Trump means for the future of energy and climate" and "Will President Obama's clean energy legacy endure?"

Contact: 734-763-7401, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Barry Rabe is a professor at the Ford School of Public Policy and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the first social scientist to receive a Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 and currently chairs the EPA's Assumable Waters Advisory Board.

Rabe can discuss any political, management or federalism issues related to the implementation of Pruitt's EPA agenda, ​including climate change, vehicle emissions and fuel economy, and water policy.

"Scott Pruitt routinely talks about 'cooperative federalism' as his mission. But what does that mean for states such as California that routinely want to go above and beyond federal standards?" he said.

Rabe's blog post titled "What will Scott Pruitt do if he cannot sue EPA?" appeared Dec. 12 in Brookings Brief.

Contact: 734-765-1677, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., @BarryRabe


Joe Árvai is a member of the EPA's Science Advisory Board, which is tasked with providing scientific advice to the EPA administrator. He is director of U-M's Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise and the Max McGraw Professor of Global Sustainable Enterprise at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ross School of Business.

Árvai can discuss his expectations—as a member of the agency's Science Advisory Board and as a scientist working at the nexus of the environment and society—for the agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt.

"As an SAB member, I hope that Mr. Pruitt will, like administrators before him, continue to seek advice and input from the SAB, which is comprised of scientists from both universities and the private sector, all of whom have been thoroughly vetted to guard against conflicts of interest," he said. "And as a scientist and citizen, I expect that the EPA will continue to treat science as secular and to follow the rule of law as it relates to environmental protection. A failure to do so would be a violation of the public trust and a betrayal of future generations."

Contact: 734-647-3891 or 734-834-2075, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., @DecisionLab


Richard Rood, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the College of Engineering, can discuss the intersections of weather and climate, and climate and society. He recently wrote about adaptive management in the Trump administration for the Climate Policy Blog, an American Meteorological Society project.

"Organization and discipline will be critical attributes for an effective response to the Trump administration's efforts to deconstruct not only President Obama's climate actions, but also to weaken a generation of environmental law," he said. "Critical in effective response is to depersonalize that which is dismissive, insulting and hurtful. The goal is to resist the emotional bait."

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Daniel Raimi is a researcher and lecturer at the Ford School of Public Policy and an analyst with expertise on energy policy issues, including oil and gas markets and policy.

"The Clean Power Plan was a crucial component of the Obama administration's efforts to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and played a major role in encouraging other nations to commit to reduce their own emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015," he said.

"Over roughly the past 10 years, domestic carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have fallen by roughly 20 percent, primarily driven by newly available low-cost supplies of natural gas. Looking forward, however, policies such as the Clean Power Plan or a form of carbon pricing, such as a carbon tax or cap and trade policy, will be necessary to further these reductions."

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