During his eight years in office, Obama has carved out an impressive environmental legacy. He helped broker the Paris Agreement, the most significant climate change deal in history; instituted the Clean Power Plan, described as the strongest action ever taken by a U.S. president to combat global warming; and protected more land and water ― more than 265 million acres ― than any other president in history, including the establishment of the world’s largest marine reserve, among other green initiatives.
But whether these actions will stand the test of time remains to be seen. President-elect Donald Trump, who has called climate change “bullshit,” has a decidedly different take on environmental matters. He has vowed to dismantle the EPA, repeal the Clean Power Plan, “renegotiate” the Paris Agreement, cancel restrictions on “clean coal” and resuscitate the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Trump has reportedly tapped former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (both big fans of ramping up fossil fuel exploration) for the position of interior secretary. The real estate magnate has said that he’s “very much into fracking and drilling.”
“I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs,” Trump said in a Nov. 21 video message outlining some of his goals for the first 100 days of his presidency. “That’s what we want, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.”