President Donald Trump is nowhere near an environmentalist. As soon as he hired climate change denier and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruit as the Environmental Protection Agency's director, it became quite clear that Trump's administration would not promote policies seriously aimed at preventing global warming. As he nears his 100th day in office, Trump's energy policies seem to be adhering to his infamous tweet claiming that global warming was a hoax orchestrated by the Chinese.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Let's take a gander at just how many anti-environmental policies he's managed to push.
- With one executive order, Trump lifted former President Obama's effort to limit the coal industry. Hoping to revitalize the struggling industry, Trump signed the order which would keep plants open which would have been shutdown by Obama's Clean Power Plan. The trouble is, the coal industry is already doomed; natural gas and alternative energies have eclipsed the once booming business.
- According to the New York Times, Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would expand offshore oil drilling, and release formerly protected federal land to be explored for private interest. Obama had attempted to ban offshore drilling permanently by citing a 1953 law, however Trump will likely try to reverse this despite the fact that the Obama administration believed the moratorium would withstand legal challenges.
- In his budget proposal Trump slashed the EPA's budget by a third from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. He's also reportedly refused to hire anyone at the EPA whose research or title includes the word "climate."
- On the campaign trail Trump promised to "cancel" the monumental Paris Climate agreement reached in 2015 and agreed upon by more than 195 countries. It's unclear whether he will proceed with this pledge; however three of his cabinet members, including former Exxon CEO and now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have encouraged the president to remain in the pact.
- Although a minute detail, Trump failed to mention climate change in his April 23 Earth Day statement. Instead, Trump has evidently prioritized expanding the economy over protecting the environment as he reiterated on Twitter.
I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
- After months of protests, Trump cleared a path for the controversial North Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed. It's already started pumping.
- Targeting water restrictions, Trump also ordered the EPA to disassemble another Obama administration policy protecting waterways and wetlands. The Waters of the United States rule attempted to stipulate anti-pollution regulations; with the dismantling of the law, millions of Americans' safe drinking water is at risk.