President Donald Trump promised to roll back federal environmental rules at an aggressive rate and it’s one of the few promises he is delivering on.
Trump has only been in office for 40 days and is already allowing coal miners to dump waste into West Virginia streams, ordered the repeal of Clean Water Act protections for vast stretches of wetlands, and proposed massive job cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Now, the 45th POTUS is promising to revoke the Obama administration’s climate change regulations.
Trump is also expected to end a moratorium on federal coal leases, a plan that Barack Obama had championed during his eight years in the oval office.
Trump has also said he will potentially remove scheduled tightening of vehicle fuel-efficiency standards.
On the climate change front, the President has claimed he may pull out of the 200-nation Paris climate agreement, a move that would completely undermine international efforts to stop the destruction of our planet.
During his campaign, Trump promised to get rid of the EPA in nearly every form. His spending cuts already call for a 25% reduction in the agencies annual operating budget.
“I would call it the worst environmental disaster of all time if he has the ability to implement the plans which he has outlined,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said of Trump’s plan to dismantle much-needed climate change policies and agencies.
It’s not just Dems who are angry over the move, some Republicans are also speaking out over Trump’s apparently lack of understanding on all things environment related.
“I haven’t ever really seen anything quite like this,” said Christine Todd Whitman, who served as George W. Bush’s first EPA administrator. “A lot of that enforcement is protecting people.”
The Environmental Defense Fund went so far as to fight against climate-denier Scott Pruitt’s nomination for EPA administrator, a first for the group.
It’s not just Trump fighting against Obama-backed policies. He also signed off on congressional repeals of some Obama-era regulations, including an Interior Department rule aimed at protecting streams from pollution by mountaintop removal coal mining.
Just this week Trump told the EPA to begin rewriting the Obama administration’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule. If successful the rewrite would leave 60% of U.S. streams and 20 million acres of wetlands unprotected from development or pollution.
The 45th Potus also plans to overturn Obama’s rules that limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants. A person familiar with Trump’s order said it is expected to emphasize increasing U.S. energy independence and maximizing domestic energy production on federal
With coal getting its first boost in nearly a decade, Trump says he is placing a focus back on a US-based dependency on domestic production. To accomplish that goal Trump wants to use federal lands while eliminating and streamlining regulations.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.