America's new kleptocrat may find gutting American pollution and climate change policies to be a more difficult task than he presumes.
Under federal law, reversing major regulations requires a time-consuming process that can drag on for months and sometimes years. And even after new rules are issued, they can be challenged in court — something environmental groups are already vowing to do. [...]
“Some actions they will be able to do in relatively short order. Other major rules will take time to meet the burden of regulatory process,” said Scott Segal, a lobbyist at Bracewell who represents numerous energy companies.
There's also another problem, which is that regardless of what Trump tries or doesn't try to do, his team's fantasy version of events simply isn't going to come to pass. Coal isn't coming back. The problems associated with fracking will continue to be problems, no matter how frequently a designated Trump lackey goes on television to deny them. Clean power continues to get cheaper. Protecting public lands is publicly popular.
None of that is to say that Trump's team won't try, of course. And conservative officials have long looked to the sale of public lands as a quick way to raise money to pay for structural budget failures, so we can presume such sales will be among the top priorities for the new kleptocrats in charge. Who knows? Rex Tillerson could end his State Department tenure owning three-quarters of Utah.
Wait—no. Scratch that last one. We're being positive here, right? And the silver lining here is that much of what Trump and his team seeks to do can't be done quickly, or easily, or silently. There will be resistance.
[Natural Resources Defense Council's David Goldston] compared Trump’s plans to those of presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, as well as that of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). All three came to power with broad deregulatory promises but failed to overcome opposition, he said.
“There was a strong vocal backlash, and they eventually decided this was not worth their effort. And we expect that to be the case again,” he said.