Making Sense of the Legal Headlines: Climate Change and Federal Policy


Temple Law professor Amy Sinden presented the relationship between the Trump administration and climate change this past Tuesday at the Beasley School of Law.

Sinden focused on possible impending dangers, logistics, and the future of global warming, relating these topics to President Trump’s executive order concerning the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Sinden, effects of global warming have already had a significant impact on the planet.

There have been cases of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and increasing amounts of wildfires. Additionally, rising ocean temperatures are causing coral reefs to die

However, Sinden says that we can prevent this calamity from getting worse.

“The good news is that we have the tools to fix the problem,” Sinden said. “There is no question we can. Maybe we can’t completely unwind the process, but we can absolutely stave off the worst effects of climate change.”

The price of wind and solar power have plummeted dramatically in recent years, so Sinden thinks the free market is moving towards renewable energy sources. That being said, she believes this issue has a time limit, and there are still resource shortages caused by droughts and floods.

Another topic of discussion was President Trump’s executive order on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”

This order, issued on March 28th, focuses on repealing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. As part of the executive order, the Environmental Protection Agency was told to revoke most of the Obama Administration’s regulations.

Temple freshman Krissie Dempsey explained her concerns with Trump’s plans.

“I think global warming is an urgent, important, time-sensitive issue,” Dempsey said. “With Donald Trump revoking all of the policies that the Obama administration previously implemented, we’re going backwards.”

The initiative will take years to fully implement, and President Trump is expected to initiate a replacement regulation pertaining to the EPA.