Ben Geman Mar 28
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Trump’s climate and energy executive order is about to happen

Charlie Riedel / AP

It's finally here! Almost. Tuesday afternoon President Trump will visit EPA to sign a long-awaited executive order that aims to unwind huge swaths of Obama-era climate change policy.

Why it matters: The order is the clearest sign yet of how aggressively Trump wants to attack his predecessor's regulations on fossil fuel development and coal-fired power generation, which Republicans call economically burdensome. According to the White House, the order will do all this stuff:

  • Begin the long process of overturning EPA carbon emissions standards for existing and newly constructed power plants.
  • Withdraw Obama-era interagency calculations of the "social cost of carbon," a metric regulators use to weigh the damage from increased carbon emissions.
  • Direct the Interior Department to end its moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands.
  • Direct EPA and Interior to review rules that govern oil and natural gas development, including EPA's methane emissions rules for new sources and Interior's rules that govern fracking on federal lands.
  • Scuttle a White House directive that required agencies to consider climate change when reviewing energy, infrastructure and other proposed projects under the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Require federal agencies to broadly review existing rules and policies that might thwart energy development. They have 180 days to craft recommendations to address the problems.
  • Rescind several of Obama's policy memos and orders on tackling climate policy broadly, such as the broad 2013 strategy document.

What's next: In the immediate aftermath, a seriously fierce messaging battle to shape public perception of Trump's actions.

  • A senior White House official told reporters yesterday that the administration is committed to "twin goals" of environmental protection and energy development. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lauded Trump for "bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority."
  • But on the other side, Gina McCarthy, who was President Obama's EPA chief, called it dangerous to air quality and drinking water. "It's embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth, and U.S. leadership," she said.
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D.C.'s March for our Lives: "The voters are coming"

Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives.
Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives. Photo: Stef Kight / Axios

D.C.'s March for our Lives event is expected to see more than half a million participants.

Why it matters: While D.C. is the primary march, there are hundreds of others around the world and across the country. Led by students, the march is "to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address" gun issues, per the organization's mission statement.

Haley Britzky 8 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the NYT. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.