DemDaily: Trump’s Time on Earth
April 24, 2018
Earth Day has taken on a more urgent meaning for the environment as the protections for our natural resources, communities and, on a very real scale, our climate, have experienced historic setbacks under the Trump administration.
Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970, is an annual event celebrated on April 22 when events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.
During the campaign Trump railed against climate change as "a hoax," appointed like-minded cabinet officials, and wasted no time in rolling back landmark environmental advancements and policies enacted by his predecessors.
Key Trump (Anti) Environmental Policy Actions
A sampling ...
- Eliminates reference to climate change on White House website; orders Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) climate change website taken down (by end of 2017 climate change scrubbed from all government sites)
- Freezes grants and contracts for EPA.
- Prohibits researchers and staff at EPA and Department of Agriculture from communicating on federal policy with outside world or news media.
- Mandates that scientific studies at EPA undergo review by political appointees before being released to public.
- Requests a list of all federal employees working on global warming from the Department of Energy.
- Scott Pruitt confirmed to run the Environmental Protection Agency. As Oklahoma's Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA 13 times.
- Orders review the "Waters of the United States" Obama-era rule under the Clean Water Act that gave the federal government power to regulate major bodies of water, rivers, streams, and wetlands.
- Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke orders lift of 2016 moratorium on all new coal leases on federal land, and demands a "re-examination" of climate change policies within the Department of Interior.
-Orders 1) review the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era EPA rule regulating carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-burning power plants; 2) lift the moratorium for coal mining leases on public lands; and 3) remove greenhouse gas emissions from calculations made by National Environmental Policy Act.
- Proposes the EPA's budget cut by 31%, the largest among all government agencies (by end of 2017 the EPA lost 700 employees, including 200 scientists).
- Orders review of Obama five-year plan for offshore natural gas and oil leasing, and regulations related to leasing energy development, including wind, in federal waters. The order also reverses Obama's ban on offshore drilling in seas off northern Alaska.
|On Earth Day 2017, the first March for Science took place in Washington, DC, when an estimated one million scientists, researchers, and concerned citizens marched to encourage the world's lawmakers to use science-based evidence when implementing policies, including climate change. In 2018, more than 230 March for Science satellite events took place worldwide.|
- President Trump announces the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark environmental agreement aimed at combatting global warming, and signed by 195 nations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
- Sets off an unprecedented global reaction and condemnation from world leaders, lawmakers, scientists and corporate CEOs, to religious organizations and environmentists.
- Department of the Interior rescinds rule that keeps plastic water bottles out of federal parklands.
- Revokes federal
flood-risk standards that incorporated rising sea levels predicted by climate science.
- Eliminates the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which mandated cuts in carbon emissions, the single biggest contributor to the country's overall carbon footprint.
- Interior proposes auctioning off oil and gas leases for 77 million acres of federal waters within the Gulf of Mexico, the largest lease auction ever announced.
- In defiance of Trump, a report from 13 federal agencies says humans are main cause of global warming.
- Opened up development of 2 million acres of public monument lands, the largest rollback of federal land protection in United States history.
- Drops Climate Change from national security threat list, overturning Obama 2015 assessment of its threat as "urgent," given its effects on natural disasters, conflicts over food and water, and refugee crises.
- Announces plan to allow new oil and gas drilling in nearly all of our nation's coastal waters.
- Members of civilian National Park System Advisory Board, first chartered by Congress in 1935, quit over Interior Secretary Zinke's refusal to meet with them.
Just one of 200+ advisory boards reviewed by Interior and EPA, many of which have been disbanded.
- Trump EPA drops "once in, always in" (OIAI), a Clinton-era policy to lock in reductions of hazardous air pollution from industrial sources.
- In FY2019 budget,Trump administration proposes sweeping cuts to federal climate change and renewable energy research and programs. Includes 70%+ cut to the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
- United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strikes "climate change" and associated verbiage from its strategic plan -- following one of the most expensive years of natural disasters in history.
- EPA reviews fuel efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks - part of rollback of Obama-era initiative to curbcarbon emissions.
- Interior proposes removal of the US Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) "blanket section 4(d) rule" which, since the 1970s, has protected threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Today, EPA Director Scott Pruitt announces a new "transparency" rule, limiting EPA's use of studies that link air pollution to harmful public health effects.
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Sources: EarthDayNetwork, MarchforScience, CNN, National Geographic, Men's Journal, Vice.com, Complex, EnvironmentalHistory. org, NewYorkTimes, NPR. *Dates vary depending on multiple resources.