Since taking office, the Trump administration has set in motion the rollback of nearly 100 environmental safeguards. Make no mistake — no matter what the president says to Congress, the Trump administration is denying climate change, taking us backwards on clean air and clean water, as well as putting the health of our children and families at risk.
- During the COVID-19 crisis, the Trump administration has issued a total suspension of enforcement of environmental laws, announcing that companies will no longer need to meet environmental standards during the outbreak. The EPA has set no end date to the policy, and is effectively ceding control of monitoring air and water pollution levels to states. Earlier, oil and gas lobbyists quietly sent a letter to the Trump administration, asking them to waive rules they call “non-essential.” These so-called “non-essential” safeguards provide oversight over hazardous waste management, drinking water testing, tank inspections, chemical testing requirements, oil and gas leak detection, and much more. These “non-essential” safeguards directly affect people’s health and safety.
- A federal judge recently voided nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas leases, ruling that a Trump administration policy to cut public input out of the leasing process was illegal. There’s a massive fight underway to re-secure that land for drilling — even now, while everyone is distracted by the COVID-19 crisis! — and we’re a part of the campaign to stop it.
- The Trump administration is trying to gut the National Environmental Policy Act. That would mean agencies would no longer have to consider climate change when approving major projects like highways, pipelines, and other infrastructure proposals, and they could ignore public input. We’re making a final urgent push to block the new rule, but we have to move quickly if we want to have any chance at all.
- The Trump administration is about to sell access to the area around the Grand Canyon to allow uranium mining. The Grand Canyon has been home to indigenous communities for millennia, including the Havasupai, Hualapai, Hopi, and Navajo Nation communities. Congress is pushing to block the sale, but we need major grassroots pressure if we have any chance of succeeding.
- Even after Trump pulled the United States from the Paris Agreement, there’s still a real shot at holding ourselves to the commitments we made as a country. After aggressive grassroots campaigns, state and local governments are setting their own emissions limits. This doesn’t always make front page news — but it’s huge, and it only happens when the environmental movement demands it.
- The EPA has gutted an Obama era ruling that had coal fired power plants cut back on toxic emissions such as mercury and other hazards. This is no surprise, considering that Andrew Wheeler, the head of the EPA, was formerly a lobbyist for the coal industry. In other words, it’s allowing the wolf to tend to the sheep.
- The Trump administration has moved to confront the EPA on one of the few public health protections that was promoted. PFAS, a dangerous chemical compound, is used in multiple different products such as frying pans and rugs. The action against the EPA was likely led by Nancy Beck, a former chemical industry executive.
- Trump and the White House has refused to take action to implement stricter regulations on soot pollution, despite the fact that doing so would improve air quality and save thousands of lives. Once again at the forefront against proper health and environmental regulations is Andrew Wheeler, who claims that the reports are uncertain.
- The Clean Water Act is being gutted, thanks to the EPA and, who else, Andrew Wheeler. This puts many waterways like streams and wetlands at risk of pollution and other harmful contaminants, putting those living downstream at considerable risk of ingesting those pollutants.
- Fuel economy and emissions standards have been rolled back by the Trump administration, threatening to undo the progress made during the Obama administration as well as adding almost a billion tons of carbon dioxide released and using almost 80 billion more gallons of fuel.
Make no mistake; this is just the beginning if Trump is allowed a second term in office. Unless we want to ensure a quick and toxic demise to our beautiful planet, we must take action to stop the Trump administration and work to protect the land and environment we all love.