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Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.


President Rolls Back Climate Protections in Executive Order

Tania Lown-Hecht

Photo credit: Thomas O'Keefe

Photo credit: Thomas O'Keefe

Climate change is one of the gravest threats facing the world today. Today, however, the President signed an executive order that will roll back the few steps the U.S. has taken to address climate change.

Among other steps, this executive order:

  • Begins the process of rolling back the Clean Power Plan, which aimed at reducing emissions from power plants;
  • Ends the current moratorium on issuing new leases for coal mining on public land;
  • Ends the consideration of climate change impacts as a part of required reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA);
  • Stops the consideration of the “social costs of carbon” in agency rulemakings; and
  • Directs agencies to review policies that may hinder the development of more fossil fuels.

The executive order does not withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, but most analysts suggest that the steps outlined in the order will make it impossible for the U.S. to meet its pledged greenhouse gas reductions.

As people who spend lots of time out on public lands and waters, our community sees the effects of climate change firsthand. From changing river hydrographs, to warmer winters, to beetle kill and more severe fire seasons, climate change directly affects our public lands and the world around us today. The changes directed by this executive order not only will exacerbate the problems of climate change, but also will affect our public lands directly and immediately by prioritizing coal, oil, and gas development in places we all care about.

Outdoor Alliance supports balanced use of public lands and recognizes that energy development is appropriate under certain circumstances. However, this executive order is a step backwards. It makes substantive reversals, blocking even the consideration of climate impacts through processes like NEPA.

In recent months, we have seen public outreach change the tides on a number of important legislative issues. If you want to share your thoughts, you can write to your members of Congress and the President using this tool. We share the best phone numbers to use if you want to make a call, as well.