Since 2017, the Trump administration targeted many regulations which had been put in place to address climate change. A handful of major climate rules reversed or weakened under Mr. Trump could have a significant effect on future emissions. The New York Times has been covering the more than 100 environmental rules being repealed or weakened, and reported on 9/17/2020, that these rollbacks are expected to result in an additional 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2035.

Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has posted a Deregulation Tracker as well as a Climate Regulation database detailing regulations and other efforts undertaken by federal agencies to address the causes and impacts of climate change. Harvard is tracking, too.

President Joe Biden has his work cut out for him dealing with the many rollbacks that occurred under the Trump Administration. The Washington Post is tracking the success President Biden is having as he unwinds Trump’s legacy and forges his own.

Joe Biden signs executive actions to mandate masks and rejoin Paris Climate Accord

The list below highlights some of the many policies enacted under the Biden administration and those overturned.


BIDEN SUED: Pausing new federal oil and gas leasing

After pausing new oil and gas leasing for nearly seven months, the Biden administration said it would resume auctions in response to a preliminary injunction issued by a Louisiana judge in June.

Establishing EV target of half of new car sales by 2030

By Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennis   08/05/21  
President Biden signed an executive order calling for half of all new cars and light trucks sold in 2030 to be electric or plug-in hybrids.

Ending industrial-scale logging of old-growth on Tongrass National Forest

By Juliet Eilperin   07/15/21  
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Biden administration would cancel three old-growth timber sales in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. It would still allow Alaska Natives and small-scale timber operators to selectively log some old-growth trees.…

Phasing out uses of weedkilling pesticide propazine

The Biden administration said it had reached an agreement to phase out use of the chemical, which had been shown to harm an array of endangered species...


Trump let this pesticide stay on the market. Under Biden, EPA is banning its use on food

By Dino Grandoni   08/18/21  
EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, linked to neurological damage in young children, on crops such as grapes, broccoli and strawberries – reversing a Trump public health decision...

Weakening the lightbulb efficiency rule

The Energy Department proposed a rule making lightbulbs more efficient, reversing a Trump policy. The proposal would affect bulbs used in 2 billion sockets in the U.S...

The list below highlights 14 of the many dozens of Trump administration rollbacks which were enacted during the years 2017-2020.

Paris Agreement Withdrawal, Finalized

Today we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy…

Fuel Economy Standards, Finalized

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalize updated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks and establish new standards,…


Biden reverses Trump cuts to monuments, restoring protection for key fossil sites

By April Reese 10/08/21
In a long-awaited decision, President Joe Biden today restored Utah’s fossil-rich Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to their former boundaries, 4 years after former President Donald Trump made drastic cuts to both.

Trump let this pesticide stay on the market. Under Biden, EPA is banning its use on food

By Dino Grandoni 08/18/21
EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, linked to neurological damage in young children, on crops such as grapes, broccoli and strawberries – reversing a Trump public health decision...

Rep. Sean Casten on Hot FERC Summer and how to prepare the US grid for rapid decarbonization

By David Roberts 08/18/21
As regular readers of my work are well aware, the fastest way to decarbonize the U.S. economy is through clean electrification — decarbonizing the electricity sector and shifting energy use in other sectors like transportation…

EPA Unveils Plan to Reduce Dangerous Pollution from Landfills

The Environmental Protection Agency today announced a plan to implement final standards that will protect millions of Americans from the toxic and climate-damaging pollution emitted by municipal landfills.

Deb Haaland Scraps A Slew Of Fossil Fuel-Friendly Trump Orders

By Chris D’Angelo 04/16/21
With the stroke of a pen on Friday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland dismantled a sizable chunk of her predecessors’ legacies, revoking a dozen Trump-era secretarial orders that sought to boost fossil fuel and other extraction…

Senators eye rollback of Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act

By Rebecca Beitsch 03/24/21
Lawmakers are weighing using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse a Trump era-rule that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate methane. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Angus King (I-Maine) have drafted a…

Biden reinstates bird protections gutted under Trump

By Jacob Fischler 03/09/21
The Interior Department on Monday revoked a Trump administration policy that would have undercut a century-old law protecting migratory birds. The move strengthens federal regulators’ authority to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a 1918…

Regulatory Review, Biden Style

By Rena Steinzor 02/15/21
I have friends who wept during the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The sheer relief of watching the departure of a glowering Donald Trump—by far the President most hostile to…

Biden signs executive actions on climate change: ‘It’s time to act’

By Rebecca Shabad and Geoff Bennett 01/27/21
President Joe Biden delivered remarks Wednesday about his plan to tackle climate change and signed related executive actions to further the key part of his agenda, which includes “creating jobs and restoring scientific integrity,” the…

Biden, Emphasizing Job Creation, Signs Sweeping Climate Actions

By Lisa Friedman, Coral Davenport and Christopher Flavelle 01/27/21
President Biden on Wednesday signed a sweeping series of executive actions — ranging from pausing new federal oil leases to electrifying the government’s vast fleet of vehicles — while casting the moves as much about…

Biden’s Plan To Undo Trump’s Last-Minute Deregulatory Spree & Enact A Climate Agenda

By Terry Gross 01/20/21
Trump called climate change a hoax. Biden calls it an existential threat. Washington Post journalist Juliet Eilperin talks about how Biden might reverse some of his predecessor's policies.

Ins and outs of Congressional Review Act and climate change rules

By Jan Ellen Spiege 01/19/21
The obstacles the Trump administration has placed on environmental rulemaking and, by extension, on stemming climate change have been well-documented by organizations from mainstream media outlets to multiple academic institutions.


NRDC’s Litigation Timeline

For 50 years, NRDC has been suing polluters in defense of our health and environment—no matter what industry or political stripe those polluters represent. And sometimes we sue the president. Since the Trump administration assumed office…

Harvard Regulatory Rollback Tracker

We are tracking environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump Administration. The table below links you to pages that describe the history of each rule and its current status and rollback efforts, including litigation and court…

The Undoing of US Climate Policy: The Emissions Impact of Trump-Era Rollbacks

President Trump has made dismantling environmental regulations a priority during his time in office. While some of these moves remain mired in legal uncertainty, the Trump administration has successfully unraveled the majority of Obama-era climate…

Environmental Protection Network

The Environmental Protection Network was launched in January 2017 to harness the expertise of former EPA career staff and confirmation-level appointees from multiple administrations to provide an informed and rigorous defense against efforts to undermine…

U.S. Climate Regulation Database

This is a database of regulations and other efforts undertaken by federal agencies to address the causes and impacts of climate change. Regulations administered by EPA are organized by topic; other materials are organized by their…

Laws & Regulations

Laws written by Congress provide the authority for EPA to write regulations. Regulations explain the technical, operational, and legal details necessary to implement laws.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce splits with Trump on emissions standards

Maintaining regulations gives the biggest players a competitive advantage....

A running list of how President Trump is changing environmental policy

The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy—and we’re tracking them here as they happen.

The Climate Deregulation Tracker

The Columbia Law School Tracker identifies steps taken by the Trump administration and Congress to scale back or wholly eliminate federal climate mitigation and adaptation measures. The tracker is linked to a database of climate…

95 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump

Over four years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled major climate policies and rolled back many more rules governing clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals.


The White House touts Trump’s deregulation. It’s actually been a bust

By Catherine Rampell   10/29/19  
Last week, amid damning new testimony in the impeachment inquiry, the White House tried to change the subject by touting one of its supposed wins: President Trump’s “historic deregulation.
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Trump, Calif. Wage War Of Words Over Auto Standards

President Donald Trump on Wednesday crowed about his administration's highly anticipated move to strip California of its power to set its own auto emissions standards, while Golden State leaders defended their authority and vowed to…
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Trump Admin Repeals Obama-Era Clean Water Protections

The Trump administration repealed the 2015 Clean Water Rule rule Thursday, a rule intended to protect 60 percent of the nation's waterways from pollution, The New...
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Trump Admin Reverses Standards for Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

The Trump administration is rolling back energy efficiency standards for light bulbs that would have kept millions of tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,...
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Curbs on Methane, Potent Greenhouse Gas, to Be Relaxed in U.S.

By Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport   08/30/19  
The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.
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Trump administration to reverse limits on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas

By Brady Dennis   08/29/19  
The Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce Thursday that it will loosen federal rules on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change, according to two senior administration officials.
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The Energy 202: Sixteen states could see spike in carbon emissions under Trump’s power plan

By Dino Grandoni   07/03/19  
Last month, the Trump administration took its most significant action to date in regulating power plants — one the agency said would reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector by as much as a third…
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Climate Change Denialists Dubbed Auto Makers the ‘Opposition’ in Fight Over Trump’s Emissions Rollback

By Hiroko Tabuchi   07/02/19  
In the early months of the Trump administration, automakers pleaded for — and appeared set to receive — some relief from fuel economy standards that they said were too difficult to meet.
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Wheeler slams Calif. regulator ahead of contentious hearing

By Maxine Joselow   06/20/19  
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler today accused a California air regulator of negotiating in bad faith over the rollback of clean car standards.
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Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis   06/19/19  
Despite a drumbeat of scientific warnings, the Trump administration Wednesday issued a new rule that cuts carbon emissions from power plants by less than half of what experts say is needed to avoid catastrophic global…
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White House poised to relax mileage standards, rebuffing automakers and setting up probable fight with California

By Brady Dennis   06/07/19  
A last-minute push by automakers appears unlikely to sway the Trump administration from abandoning President Barack Obama’s signature climate policy to improve mileage standards for cars and light trucks, two government officials said Friday.
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Automakers Plan for Their Worst Nightmare: Regulatory Chaos After Trump’s Emissions Rollback

By Coral Davenport   04/10/19  
As the Trump administration prepares to drastically weaken Obama-era rules restricting vehicle pollution, nervous automakers are devising a strategy to handle their worst-case scenario: a divided American auto market, with some states following President Trump’s…
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Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Mean ‘Untenable’ Instability and Lower Profits

By Coral Davenport   12/13/18  
The world’s largest automakers warned President Trump on Thursday that one of his most sweeping deregulatory efforts — his plan to weaken tailpipe pollution standards — threatens to cut their profits and produce “untenable” instability…
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This Trump plan would strip protections from wetlands and smaller waterways

By Judy Woodruff   12/11/18  
A new Trump administration proposal would reduce safeguards to millions of acres of waterways by removing federal oversight over smaller streams and tributaries. Judy Woodruff talks with Coral Davenport of The New York Times about…
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Trump administration is largely following through on manufacturing group’s “wish list”

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi   05/09/19  
Early in President Trump’s term, a powerful group of manufacturers delivered to his deputies a “wish list” of regulations they wanted rewritten. Two years later, the Trump administration appears to have largely followed through on…
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The White House Plan to Change Climate Science

By Michael Barbaro   05/29/19  
After two years spent unraveling the policies of his predecessors, President Trump and his appointees are going after influential government reports.
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