EPA emissions inventory might survive under Trump

Source: By Jean Chemnick, E&E News • Posted: Monday, April 15, 2024

The annual tally of U.S. climate pollution has some conservative supporters.

Mandy Gunasekara.

Mandy Gunasekara, an EPA official during the Trump administration, supports the agency’s greenhouse gas inventory. Francis Chung/POLITIC

The exercise of collecting and publishing an inventory of U.S. greenhouse gases each year by April 15 might continue if former President Donald Trump wins the election this fall — even if he pulls out of the treaty that requires it.

The tally of climate pollution is submitted to the United Nations as a condition of U.S. membership in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change — the parent treaty to the Paris Agreement that the U.S., in 1992, became the first industrialized country to ratify.

Some conservatives have urged Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the UNFCCC if he returns to the White House next year. Contributors to Project 2025, a far-right policy road map, argue that a president can withdraw from a treaty unilaterally. That would also end U.S. membership in the 2015 Paris Agreement in a way that could not be easily reversed.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean EPA would stop issuing the emissions inventory before Tax Day each year. Some conservatives argue that it’s useful — even for a would-be president who has called climate change a myth, wrongly accused wind turbines of causing cancer and associated electric vehicle mandates with a “bloodbath.”