President-elect Trump has called climate change a “hoax invented by the Chinese,” promised to push more coal production, threatened to pull the United States from a global carbon-cutting accord and slash funding for emissions programs, and he says he will dismantle President Obama’s signature clean energy program, which is already stalled in federal court.
“Exercising leadership is not about retreating. It’s about setting a standard for others to follow,” said Jeffrey Bielicki, an energy and environmental policy researcher at Ohio State University. “Part of my concern stems from the lack of any substantive discussions during the race, so that brings with it a fair amount of uncertainty. The vast majority of knowledgeable people accept that we need to deal with the climate. And there are multiple ways to do it and we need to take multiple paths toward doing it.”