10 Ways the Trump Administration is Waging War on the Planet

This year, the celebration of Earth Day on April 22 is more important than ever, as President Trump continues to slash environmental regulations that help protect the earth.

Trump has called climate change a “hoax,” and he has appointed a climate-change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so we already knew that the environment was in danger. It was nevertheless terrifying to watch President Trump sign an executive order last month designed to undo President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and other important climate rules.

Here are 10 ways the Trump administration is waging war on the planet.

1. Appoint Climate Change Deniers

Trump appointed Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA; This is a man who has sued the EPA 14 times and questioned the overwhelming body of scientific evidence showing that humans are causing the climate to warm by releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Then there’s Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, who believes that funding research on global warming is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, is now heading up a department that he wanted to eliminate as a Republican presidential candidate in 2012, although of course he couldn’t remember its name during a debate.

2. Repeal Stream Protection Rule 

In early February, Trump signed a bill to repeal the Stream Protection Rulea regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that was finalized just last December. Trump’s disapproval of this rule gives coal companies a freer hand in dumping mining debris in streams, which is really bad news for people and for the planet. Around 40 percent of coal plants discharge toxic pollution within five miles of a downstream community’s drinking water intake, and coal plant wastewater is known to have contaminated more than 23,000 miles of waterways, including nearly 400 water bodies used as drinking water sources.

3. Slash Science Programs

Trump released his first budget blueprint on March 16. It included, amongst other proposals that were horrifying, but in line with his determination to ignore facts, a $7 billion cut from science programs. These range from NASA’s monitoring of Earth to oceanography to cancer research. His proposed budget seems to cut government science across the board, reducing vital research and data gathering on topics such as sustainable farming, weather prediction, air pollutants and clean energy technologies – which is why scientists are marching on Earth Day, April 22.

4. Defund The EPA

Trump’s budget also includes defunding the EPA by 31 percent and cutting staff by 20 percent. This move is supposedly to fix budget issues, but the reality is that the agency accounts for just two-tenths of one percent of federal spending. So that claim doesn’t hold water. Instead, the proposed budget cuts appear to be a clear signal that the Trump administration is all about the top one percent making more and more money at the expense of the environment and the lives of the American people.

5. Eliminate Public Safeguards

Congress is using a regulation-killing tool called the Congressional Review Act to eliminate numerous public safeguards that took years to develop. Instead, Republicans are working to pass bills that make it harder for federal agencies to issue science-based safeguards for public health and safety. The Guardian notes, for example, that one such bill “would prevent academic scientists, but not industry-funded scientists on federal advisory boards, from weighing in on scientific issues within their expertise.”

6. Roll Back Pollution Standards

On March 28, after three months in office, Trump took his most drastic step toward the destruction of the environment, when he signed a sweeping executive order intended to roll back almost all of Obama’s climate change actions. Trump said during the signing, that the order will “eliminate federal overreach“ and start a new era of production and job creation. In reality, Trump wants to give a huge bailout to his buddies in the fossil fuel industry while Making America Dirty Again: the order asks every federal agency to review its rules and get rid of measures that inconvenience the fossil fuel and nuclear-power industries.

7. Enable Coal To Pollute Freely

Trump’s executive order in particular directs the EPA to start the legal process of withdrawing and rewriting the Clean Power Plan, Obama”s signature domestic climate policy initiative. These 2015 regulations were designed to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, the nation’s largest source of such pollution, while maintaining energy reliability and affordability. The Obama Administration had people assess the cost of greenhouse-gas emissions. Trump’s order disbands that group and tosses out its findings.

8. Give Federal Projects a Free Pass to Harm the Planet

Continuing his war on facts and his reversal of Obama’s orders, Trump has abolished the former President’s “Preparing the US for the Impact of Climate Change.” This was a rule requiring federal agencies to consider how large federal projects affect climate change, and also how climate impacts, such as drought and sea-level rise, might affect the long-term viability of such projects. Does Trump not care at all about future generations?

9. Promote Big Oil By Approving Keystone XL Pipeline

In late March, Trump announced the granting of a permit for construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, calling it “the first of many infrastructure projects” that he would approve in order to put more Americans to work. Thankfully, the future of the pipeline remains uncertain. It faces difficult economic issues as well as a newly revived protest movement that continues to resist. Yet another attempt to undo the previous administration’s work on climate change and aggressively promote oil development.

10. Approve the Use of Chlorpyrifos

At the end of March, EPA chief Pruitt approved the use of chlorpyrifosIn one of his first official acts, Pruitt overruled the recommendation of his own agency’s scientists, based on a decade of meticulous research, to ban a pesticide shown to cause nerve damage, one that poses a clear risk to children, farmworkers and rural drinking water supplies. What’s terrifying is that the EPA will weigh in on many more pesticides and household chemicals over the next few months.

Trump says he hasn’t yet decided whether of not to withdraw from the Paris agreement, (he’s probably too lazy to bother with all that paperwork), but it won’t matter if all that he has proposed becomes law.

The good news is that across the U.S., people are resisting, and that includes scientists who are marching on Earth Day.

If you agree that we have a President who is a danger to the U.S., please sign this petition urging the 3 top coal-burning companies in the U.S. to follow the Clean Power Plan despite Trump’s efforts.

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

263 comments

Marie W
Marie W8 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla10 months ago

NOT giving the environment the attention it needs is really dangerous ;(

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joan silaco
joan sabout a year ago

Trump and his millionaire minions would rather cut funding to help people and the environment and increase military spending, because its cheaper to kill and destroy than save lives!

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Jennifer H
Jennifer Habout a year ago

Rump has not only declared war on the planet but also all of humanity. Fighting will be hard and costly. He doesn't believe in the constitution nor protocols.

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Diane M
Diane McMahonabout a year ago

must work together to educate and right these wrongs.

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Roberto M
Roberto MARINIabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

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Lisa H
Lisa Habout a year ago

The comments on this page are really just a bunch of playground children screaming obscenities at each other. Quite disgraceful. I was under the impression this was a place to leave comments about the article, not a place to shriek at each other's perceived differences!

Trump is already well on the way to destroying animals and the environment - let's work together to keep our eyes on the prize and defeat the common enemy instead of each other, okay? This is not the time to lose faith with each other!

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Dan B
Dan Blossfeldabout a year ago

Heather G.,
Our planet is not quite so fragile as you imply. An individual life is precarious and fragile, succombing to the seemingly smallest attacks. Yet, life as a whole "finds a way," to quote a famous theorist. The seas hve risen and fallen in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. This happens slowly, allowing life to adapt. Floods, on the other hand, can have temporary catastrophic effects. Desertification is the same. However, this is currently receding, due to warming temperatures, increased rainfall, and carbon dioxide fertilization. The one thing that is a constant on this planet, is change. Too many people seem to want to keep everything the same, or return to some idyllic conditions in the past. This is impossible. Life goes on.

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heather g
heather gabout a year ago

The planet is fragile and many countries are at risk of desertification or sea rise - its threatening entire nations. Trump gets far too much press coverage and he relishes the attention which encourages him to act like an ignoramus.

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Clare Newbury
Clare Newburyabout a year ago

There seems to be a vicious circle happening: Trump has no self esteem, so he needs constant ego stroking (in case you don't know, self esteem comes from the 'self', how you feel about yourself because of the way you act and treat others; ego stroking comes from others praising and flattering you). People with low self esteem need their egos massaged on a daily, if not hourly, basis. All the mocking and criticism he is getting outweighs the ego stroking he gets from his little gang of toadies that he surrounds himself with. So he gets angrier and angrier at his criticzing 'enemies,' and he wants to annihilate us. He probably figures if he wrecks the environment, and causes disease and famine to be rampant, withholds healthcare from anyone who can't afford to pay big bucks, lets loose few nuclear bombs, or inspires some other country's leader to do so, he and his sycophants will hide in their special underground bunker, with all the amenities, bells, and whistles and just wait until the radiation blows away (Hah, like that's going to happen soon enough). Nature? Who needs it if you are rich enough! Lead in the drinking water? He can afford good water. Rising sea level because of climate change? Well, after he gets rid of the poor, disabled, elderly, and lazy bums he thinks are scamming the system, there will be plenty of room on the land mass that's left for him and his rich white friends who are left. Such is the r

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