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Baker Botts Comments on President Trump’s Executive Order on the Clean Power Plan

Media Alert

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2017 -- Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order addressing the Clean Power Plan, which established for the first time greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements for existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants.

The Clean Power Plan, finalized in 2015, is the center piece of President Obama's 2013 Climate Action Plan. Implementation of the rule was stayed by the Supreme Court in February 2016, pending resolution of legal challenges currently before the D.C. Circuit. Challenges to the Clean Power Plan have been briefed and argued, and the parties are awaiting the decision of the D.C. Circuit.

With today's Executive Order, the Trump Administration directs relevant agencies to begin the process of reviewing the prior Administration’s climate measures.

Specifically, the Order:

  • Directs EPA to begin an administrative review of both the Clean Power Plan and the Section 111(b) Rule, which sets greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements for new, modified, and reconstructed power plants.
  • Establishes a broad policy directive to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy.
  • Provides that the U.S. Department of Justice may, as appropriate, seek stay of or other relief in any litigation challenging the Clean Power Plan or the Section 111(b) Rule while the administrative review is underway.
  • Directs the White House Council on Environmental Quality to rescind its National Environmental Policy Act guidance on greenhouse gases that requires all agencies to consider climate change impacts in their environmental permitting process.

"The Executive Order is the first step on what likely will be a long and uncertain road to shifting the federal government's role in climate regulation," said Baker Botts Environmental partner, Megan Berge.


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 12 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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