Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump Touts Deregulation in Earth Day Remarks

Popular
Donald Trump boards Air Force One while protecting himself from the rain on Feb. 27, 2018.

The first Earth Day helped create the system of regulations, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, that the U.S. depends upon to protect its air, water and wildlife.

But President Donald Trump celebrated the 48th Earth Day by defending his administration's efforts to rollback regulations, arguing that the rollbacks are actually better for the environment.


"We know that it is impossible for humans to flourish without clean air, land, and water. We also know that a strong, market-driven economy is essential to protecting these resources," he said in a statement released Sunday.

"For this reason, my Administration is dedicated to removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth and make it more difficult for local communities to prosper and to choose the best solutions for their environment," the statement further asserted.

The message tried to cast the administration's rollbacks as beneficial to the environment, because they would boost the economy and the economy would help the environment. However, the statement did not explain how or why a strong economy would protect the environment.

In fact, many critics have noted that the Trump administration's environmental policies favor industry at the expense of natural systems and public health.

A March study by the Environmental Integrity Project found that the EPA's decision to reverse the "once in always in" rule, which held that polluters once designated as "major" would always face stricter regulations, could allow just 12 major polluters in the Midwest to generate four times the amount of toxic air pollution.

Also in March, EPA head Scott Pruitt told employees to give him the final sign-off on whether development or industrial projects threatened wetlands, rivers and streams, a move that environmentalists said would allow Pruitt to bypass protections to benefit corporate interests.

A recent rule change proposed by the Department of Interior would also favor industry at the expense of threatened species by getting rid of the "blanket rule" that gives all species listed as threatened the same protections as endangered species.

Tellingly, Trump's Earth Day statement, like his 2017 remarks, did not mention climate change.

Democrats used Earth Day to state their opposition to Trump's environmental agenda.

"The anti-climate agenda coming out of this admin is wrongheaded. The majority of Americans want to protect the environment and keep our air and water clean," Senator Kamala Harris tweeted, as The Washington Post reported.

Others singled out Pruitt in particular.

"The best way to celebrate #EarthDay: Call on Scott Pruitt to resign," Senator Chris Van Hollen tweeted, according to The Washington Post.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Looking across the Houston Ship Canal at the ExxonMobil Refinery, Baytown, Texas. Roy Luck, CC BY 2.0

By Nick Cunningham

A growing number of refineries around the world are either curtailing operations or shutting down entirely as the oil market collapses.

Read More Show Less
Traffic moves across the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 2, 2018 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Trump administration is expected to unveil its final replacement of Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks Tuesday in a move likely to pump nearly a billion more tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the lifetime of those less-efficient vehicles.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Just over a month after proclaiming that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. would soon "be down to close to zero," President Donald Trump said during a press briefing on the White House lawn Sunday that limiting U.S. deaths from the pandemic to between 100,000 and 200,000 people would mean his administration and the country as a whole did "a very good job."

Read More Show Less
Dicamba is having a devastating impact in Arkansas and neighboring states. A farmer in Mississippi County, Arkansas looks at rows of soybean plants affected by dicamba. The Washington Post / Getty Images

Documents unearthed in a lawsuit brought by a Missouri farmer who claimed that Monsanto and German chemical maker BASF's dicamba herbicide ruined his peach orchard revealed that the two companies knew their new agricultural seed and chemical system would likely damage many U.S. farms, according to documents seen by The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and other leaders speak to the press on March 28, 2020 in Seattle. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Washington State has seen a slowdown in the infection rate of the novel coronavirus, for now, suggesting that early containment strategies have been effective, according to the Seattle NBC News affiliate.

Read More Show Less