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Trump Adds 'Tasteless Insult to Injury' by Pushing Fossil Fuel Deregulation After Fatal Chemical Fire

Insights + Opinion
A chemical plant fire at 16503 Ramsey Road in Crosby, Texas on Tuesday, April 2. Harris County Fire Marshal's Office

By Jake Johnson

Just a week after a chemical plant explosion killed one worker and spewed thousands of pounds of dangerous pollutants into the air in Crosby, Texas, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to visit that city Wednesday to sign executive orders to speed up approval of pipelines and other fossil fuel projects.


In coming to the location of a deadly fossil fuel-related explosion to sign an order that would gut states' power to protect residents from the hazards of oil and gas pipelines, Trump is adding tasteless insult to the injury he is inflicting on our planet," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.

"Trump's support for the fossil fuel industry reflects a real disdain for public safety and a livable climate for generations to come," Hauter continued. "Expediting pipelines means more petrochemical buildout in places like Appalachia, and more disasters waiting in the wings — not to mention climate catastrophe."

According to the Houston Chronicle, Trump will appear at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center in Crosby, where he will deliver a speech about "how he plans to aid the United States' booming domestic oil and gas production."

While the full details of Trump's forthcoming executive orders have not yet been made public, a White House official told the Chronicle they will be geared toward helping oil and gas companies avoid "red tape."

"With oil industry cronies and swamp monsters filling the ranks of his administration, it's no surprise that Trump is once again taking an action championed by climate deniers and fossil fuel companies," Rachel Rye Butler, climate campaigner with Greenpeace USA, said in a statement. "This executive order is nothing but an attempt to trample people's rights to protect their air, water, and climate from polluting oil and gas pipelines."

"This is particularly appalling given that many parts of the country are reeling from climate disasters—like the historic flooding in the Midwest that has much of the Keystone XL pipeline route underwater," Butler added. "Instead of creating jobs in the rapidly growing green energy economy, Trump is putting fossil fuels on life support at the expense of our climate and communities."

The president's move to expand fossil fuel production in Texas and across the nation — including TransCanada's Keystone pipeline — comes as the international scientific community warns carbon emissions must be slashed drastically and quickly to avert planet-wide climate catastrophe.

Oil Change International (OCI) estimated in a report published earlier this year that Trump's Big Oil-friendly agenda has put the U.S. on track to account for 60 percent of global growth in fossil fuel production between 2019 and 2030.

"If not curtailed, U.S. oil and gas expansion will impede the rest of the world's ability to manage a climate-safe, equitable decline of oil and gas production," OCI's report warned.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

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