Donald Trump has long talked about reining in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is in charge of enforcing federal laws on air and water pollution. It’s a top priority for his supporters in the fossil-fuel industry.
But there’s still a lot of uncertainty over what, exactly, this will look like. Trump himself has been all over the map on the agency’s future. In Congress, there are bills floating around that would do everything from abolish the EPA to merely curb its powers at the margins. And, while Trump’s pick to lead the EPA, Scott Pruitt, was an ardent foe of Obama’s environmental policies, he’ll face serious legal hurdles in trying to dismantle them all at once.
So, to simplify things a bit, here are five possible futures for the EPA under Trump, based on what we know so far. As noted, some of these scenarios are way more plausible than others — and they’re not all mutually exclusive. But it’s a way of seeing the options.