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Air Pollution and Emissions

Complete 28
In Progress 2


Weakened Obama-era fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for passenger cars and light trucks.
Revoked California’s ability to set stricter tailpipe emissions standards than the federal government.
Withdrew the legal justification for an Obama-era rule that limited mercury emissions from coal power plants.
Formally withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, an international plan to avert catastrophic climate change adopted by nearly 200 counties.
Changed the way cost-benefit analyses are conducted under the Clean Air Act, potentially making it harder to issue new public health and climate protections.
Canceled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.
Revised and partially repealed an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions on public lands, including intentional venting and flaring from drilling operations. A federal court struck down the revision in July 2020, calling the Trump administration’s reasoning “wholly inadequate” and mandating enforcement of the original rule. However, the Obama-era rule was later partially struck down in a separate court case, during which the Trump administration declined to defend it.
Eliminated Obama-era methane emissions standards for oil and gas facilities and narrowed standards limiting the release of other polluting chemicals known as “volatile organic compounds” to only certain facilities.
Withdrew a Clinton-era rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters, and later proposed codifying the looser standards.
Revised a program designed to safeguard communities from increases in pollution from new power plants to make it easier for facilities to avoid emissions regulations.
Amended rules that govern how refineries monitor pollution in surrounding communities.
Overturned Obama-era guidance meant to reduce emissions during power plant start-ups, shutdowns and malfunctions. As part of the process, the E.P.A. also reversed a requirement that Texas follow emissions rules during certain malfunction events.
Weakened an Obama-era rule meant to reduce air pollution in national parks and wilderness areas.
Weakened oversight of some state plans for reducing air pollution in national parks.
Established a minimum pollution threshold at which the E.P.A. can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources: 3 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. (Power plants meet this threshold, but oil and gas production facilities fall just below it.)
Relaxed air pollution regulations for a handful of plants that burn waste coal for electricity.
Repealed rules meant to reduce leaking and venting of powerful greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons from large refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
Directed agencies to stop using an Obama-era calculation of the social cost of carbon, which rulemakers used to estimate the long-term economic benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Released new guidance that allows upwind states to contribute more ozone pollution to downwind states than during the Obama-era. (The E.P.A. under Mr. Trump also rejected petitions from a handful of states over failure to address upwind states’ pollution.)
Withdrew guidance directing federal agencies to include greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews. But several district courts have ruled that emissions must be included in such reviews.
Revoked an Obama executive order that set a goal of cutting the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 10 years.
Repealed a requirement that state and regional authorities track tailpipe emissions from vehicles on federal highways.
Lifted a summertime ban on the use of E15, a gasoline blend made of 15 percent ethanol. (Burning gasoline with a higher concentration of ethanol in hot conditions increases smog.)
Changed rules to allow states and the E.P.A. to take longer to develop and approve plans aimed at cutting methane emissions from existing landfills.
Withdrew a proposed rule aimed at reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.
Threw out most of a proposed policy that would have tightened pollution standards for offshore oil and gas operations and required them to use improved pollution controls.
Amended Obama-era emissions standards for clay ceramics manufacturers.
Relaxed some Obama-era requirements for companies to monitor and repair leaks at oil and gas facilities, including exempting certain low-production wells – a significant source of methane emissions – from the requirements altogether. (Other leak regulations were eliminated.)


Proposed revisions to standards for carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified and reconstructed coal power plants, eliminating Obama-era restrictions that, in effect, required them to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions.
Proposed a rule limiting the ability of individuals and communities to challenge E.P.A.-issued pollution permits before a panel of agency judges.
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