My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
President Trump claims he cares about the environment, saying he wants America to have “immaculate air and water”. But is that true?
Nine of our leading environmental organizations (Alaska Wilderness League Action, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund Action, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Wilderness Society) issued a joint statement calling Trump the “worst president for our environment in history”, declaring his policies threaten our climate, air, wildlife, public lands, freshwater and oceans.
That assessment stems from Trump Administration efforts to weaken or eliminate 100 environmental regulations since he became president. Ever the salesman, Trump promotes himself as a strong environmental defender – despite his unprecedented attempts to overturn regulations created to safeguard America’s air, water and natural resources.
True, Trump signed an executive order extending bans on offshore oil drilling near South Carolina, Florida and Georgia – but it was public backlash, after Trump’s proposal to ALLOW drilling there, that prompted that order.
Signing a bill providing $1.9 billion for infrastructure improvements in national parks, Trump failed to mention he eliminated two million acres in Utah from wilderness designation – the largest rollback of federal land protection in U.S. history.
Trump’s administration rolled back an Obama-era regulation forcing coal plants to upgrade wastewater treatment methods, designed to lower amounts of mercury and arsenic released into rivers, streams and lakes.
Trump reversed vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, opened public land (including national parks) to oil drilling, weakened restrictions on methane emissions, eased rules on power-plant emissions, watered down air-pollution rules at national parks, sought to repeal Obama-era clean water rules, and proposed undermining the Endangered Species Act.
But Trump’s biggest environmental impact relates to climate change, which he’s called “a hoax.” In fact, his opposition to fighting climate change is a central issue in his reelection campaign, even though sixty-three percent of U.S. adults (seventy-three percent of those living near a coastline) believe climate change has already affected their communities.
Joining Iran and Turkey as the only major countries not participating, Trump announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
Trump revoked an Obama executive order designed to combat climate change by cutting federal greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in 10 years.
Promising to weaken or eliminate environmental and climate policies, Trump delivered. Why? Because he believes rules are unnecessary, industries can regulate themselves, and fossil-fuel industries should expand.
Most of Trump’s rollbacks (as identified by the New York Times) have been executed by his appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which repealed and replaced Obama-era emissions rules for power plants and vehicles; weakened protections for more than half of America’s wetlands; and withdrew legal justification for restricting mercury emissions from power plants. Many rollbacks have faced legal challenges by states, environmental groups and others; some could remain stalled in courts beyond November, regardless of election outcome.
Trump’s Interior Department is attempting to open more land for oil and gas drilling, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Bad news notwithstanding, environmentalists are winning on many fronts. Against all odds, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped last year, largely due to coal industry demise – despite Trump propping it up. America has shuttered 318 coal plants (mostly for economic reasons; they’re too expensive to operate), on track to close all by 2030.
Major banks are beginning to back away from fossil-fuel industry investments. This summer, environmentalists stopped the massive, toxic Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The “worst president for our environment in history”, as Trump was described, faces resistance from countless organizations, businesses, industries, and individual Americans, determined to protect our environment and climate.
Remember that, Moderates – and VOTE.
The Modern Moderate is proud to welcome Sam Booher as a Guest Blogger.
Raised in a small WV coal-mining town, Sam Booher chose a military career instead of mining. He worked his way through school, graduating from The Citadel, then joined the U.S. Army. Sam served our country in the Army for 24 years, including several tours in Vietnam. After retirement, he served as Chapter Chair for the GA Sierra Club for 5 years, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Club’s Savannah River Group in Augusta, GA.
Images: Google Images
Offshore drilling rig: Sierra Club
Grand Staircase – Escalante sign: OutinDeWoods
World leaders and Trump: InsideClimate News
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: USNews.com
Trump Digs Coal: CNN.com