The Environmental Protection Agency has released their plans to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the effects of climate change. The EPA Sustainability Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Plan coincides with President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order on Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, which set aggressive energy, climate and environmental targets for agencies, and detail how.
In the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, the EPA identifies priority actions the agency will take to incorporate considerations of climate change into its programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions. This includes:
- Incorporating climate adaptation criteria in the Brownfields grants process to ensure cleanup actions taken by communities are effective as the climate changes.
- Integrating considerations of climate change into the Clean Water State Revolving Funds process and continue working with states to ensure investments in water infrastructure are resilient to changes in climate.
For example, a stormwater calculator and climate adaptation tool empowers community planners to estimate the amount of stormwater runoff.
Up to this point, the aggressive regulations of the EPA have:
- Reduced the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent since 2008.
- Exceeded the 24 percent energy intensity reduction from its 2003 baseline.
- Reduced 2013 energy intensity by 25.6 percent from 2003.
- Reduced fleet petroleum use by 38.9 percent compared to the 2005 baseline.
Federal regulations, in general, and specifically by the EPA may have good intentions, but inevitability do much more harm than good. Many examples of how these types of regulations do great harm are already well published. We can only assume that further action by the federal/state/local governments will only do more damage.