Trump Administration Continues War on Environmental Regulations

The Trump administration clearly doesn’t care about clean water. Or about clean air. Or clean energy. However, President Donald Trump has come up with one thing he’d really like to keep clean: his administration’s break from the environmental regulations and protections put into place by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

And now, at just over 100 days into his administration, he has largely accomplished that task.

Since taking office, President Trump has put environmental regulations in the crosshairs, starting with using his flood of executive orders. He also pressured Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to undo all of the “midnight” policies that President Obama put into effect as his final term drew to a close.

The changes allowed coal companies to continue to pollute waterways, reopened hunting in Alaskan wildlife refuges and made it once again easier for fossil fuel companies access federal land for potential excavation.

With executive orders calming down and the period for the Congressional Review Act having drawn to a close, the administration could end its onslaught on environmental regulations. Instead, it appears to just be getting warmed up.

New updates have altered the Environmental Protection Agency’s official web page to make it more business friendly and less insistent that climate change is a legitimate and rapidly approaching threat.

“U.S. EPA is continuing to quietly alter climate change information from the sub-pages of its website following the agency’s widely criticized decision more than a week ago to remove its main climate page,” Scientific American reports. “EPA has said it is updating the site to better reflect the Trump administration’s priorities, starting with deleting information on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce power plant emissions. Immediately following this announcement, though, visitors could still see climate change under the ‘Effects of Air Pollution’ in the ‘Air’ section of EPA’s list of ‘Environmental Topics.’ The agency has now removed climate change from that page entirely. Those seeking information on global warming can find links to an explanation of the removal of the climate change pages by clicking on ‘Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions,’ listed under ‘Air Pollutants.’”

The EPA isn’t just removing material, either. It’s also removing the scientists themselves.

“The Environmental Protection Agency has released at least five members from one of its ‘major scientific review boards,’ according to multiple reports,” writes MLive.com. “The New York Times reports that five academic scientists were let go Friday, May 5, in a move that an EPA spokesperson said lets them ‘have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community.’ The Washington Post reports the number as being ‘half of the members’ on the 18-member board.”

If you are worried that the board might now be undermanned, well, don’t be. There will be some new faces on it soon, according to MLive — “representatives from industries whose pollution the EPA is supposed to regulate.”

Yes, surely nothing could go wrong there, right?

Those same industries that are likely to eventually assist the EPA are already preparing for their gains under a Trump White House. With the president signaling the end of regulations and restrictions — and planning to allow states to decide for themselves whether they will be friendly to anti-environmental business interests — groups like ALEC are allegedly preparing model legislation to help transform certain states into deregulation havens.

“Companies that are getting free of federal regulations can now target industry-friendly states — think Oklahoma or West Virginia — to get out from under their mandates, as well. By moving state to state, lobbyists can get more traction with lawmakers friendly to their cause,” Bloomberg News reports. “Many of the efforts have been championed by groups with ties to the billionaire industry executives David and Charles Koch, such as Americans for Prosperity or the American Legislative Exchange Council. ‘Now is our time. And ALEC is ready,’ Lisa B. Nelson, ALEC’s chief executive officer, said in an email to its members after Mr. Trump’s election. ‘As our elected officials in Washington work to roll power back to the states, we will be there to catch the ball and run with it.’”

With so many dismantled regulations — not to mention the now gutted non-political science advisory board of the EPA, likely to be replaced by industry lobbyists — the Trump administration couldn’t make their intentions any more clear: They are prepared to poison both the land and the people of the U.S. if it means making donors a profit.

But the question remains: Can the country survive this onslaught for four more years?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

75 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers1 years ago

Thanks.

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Patricia H
Patricia Harris1 years ago

Aria S, ''IF'' there is no clean air or water! I'm not giving up on what's important.

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 years ago

I feel sorry for Drumps kids and grandkids future Imbecile Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 years ago

Like our ex PM said coal is good for Humanity Idiots all Liberals the same Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 years ago

Bloody skeptics make me sick Thank you for caring and sharing

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld1 years ago

Chris B.,
I am sure people would pay more for clean water. However, these regs have nothing to do with clean air and water. Making such claims is just disingenuous.

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chris b
chris B1 years ago

David F - ask the people. Would they rather pay for clean air and water or stop the regs, pay less and have dirty water, dirty air, land that is destroyed by fracking, mining, drilling, possibly destroying Nat'l Parks where maybe YOU would like to vacation. Trump is an ass. A huge ignorant ass that just wants to undo everything Obama did b/c of this hatred. He's jealous b/c Obama is way smarter than him and did the right things for the country. Go preach elsewhere.

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pam w
pam w1 years ago

David lives in a time-warp bubble where he can't really see outside. He's got Texas-induced myopia.

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W1 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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