Could Trump’s energy plan cause major climate change?

A YSU professor said Trump's energy plan could be disastrous, while a local congressman said it will create jobs

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – During his first 100 days in office, President-elect Donald Trump says he hopes to make big changes when dealing with the country’s energy sector — beginning with the Clean Power Plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency called the plan historic when it passed in 2015. It was a plan that was supposed to cut carbon pollution from power plants.

Trump’s plan calls for American energy independence. He plans to rescind Obama’s executive actions, including the Climate Change Action Plan and Waters of the U.S. rule, which he called “job-destroying.” He is also going to push the Keystone Pipeline initiative and lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas.

Youngstown State University Geology and Environmental Sciences Professor Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer said he believes that Trump’s plan will be disastrous to the environment.

“Bringing back coal-fired power plants and not phasing them out is, we’re headed for disaster. We’ve already had a 1 degree Celsius increase since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and we’re locked into another half-degree,” he said.

Beiersdorfer says those temperature upticks have caused flooding and droughts throughout the world.

“Business as usual, places like Miami are gonna be gone,” he said.

Republican Congressman Bill Johnson says he hopes Trump gets rid of the Clean Power Plan, however. He called it an attack on the coal industry and American jobs and said it doesn’t have an impact on global carbon emissions.

Trump also plans to stop following the Paris Agreement. The global treaty’s goal is for nations to reduce burning fossil fuels, which would help keep the Earth’s average temperature down.

“2014 was the hottest year on record. 2012 was hotter than that. The jump from ’14 to ’15 was the highest jump ever recorded. Now, 2016 is gonna be 2015,” Beiersdorfer said.

Trump says he plans to keep air and water clean, from an environmental standpoint, while creating jobs and wage growth.

“In a Trump Administration, political activists with extreme agendas will no longer write the rules. Instead, we will work with conservationists whose only agenda is protecting nature,” read his website.

Beiersdorfer says, however, if the world continues on its path, northeast Ohio could say a climate similar to Nashville, Tennessee within the next 30 years.