Trump Admin Continues to Dismantle Environmental Protections

Despite dire warnings about the dangers of climate change and new projections that global carbon emissions are approaching record levels, the Trump administration continues to ignore science and promote an anti-environmental agenda.


Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has rolled back key environmental regulations and admitted he hasn’t even read the administration’s climate report.


CNN: “President Donald Trump has said he intends to nominate Wheeler as the head of the EPA, and in the past five months as acting administrator, Wheeler has moved aggressively to roll back key environmental regulations, prompting critics and environmentalists to say he is fast confirming their worst fears for the agency’s future.”


CNN: “At the same forum, he admitted he had not read the climate change report released by his agency, which outlined dire warnings of the impact of global warming.”


Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist said to be the “driving force” behind the environmental agenda of James Inhofe, who called climate change a “hoax.”


CNN: “Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist who is now acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was a ‘driving force’ behind the agenda of Sen. James Inhofe, who called climate change a ‘hoax,’ according to people familiar with Wheeler’s work for the senator.”


Now, the Trump administration is expected to announce a plan to roll back restrictions on building new coal plants in the U.S., which were intended to limit the level of carbon dioxide emissions.


The New York Times: “The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce the plan on Thursday, according to four people familiar with the administration’s proposal who were not authorized to speak about it publicly. The proposal will eliminate Obama-era restrictions on newly built coal plants that in effect required them to include systems to capture the carbon dioxide they produced — a technology that is still not in use on a commercial scale.”


The Trump administration’s rule would allow for 500 additional pounds of carbon dioxide to be emitted per megawatt-hour of electricity.

The New York Times: “Under the Trump administration’s rule, carbon dioxide emissions from new coal plants would not be allowed to exceed 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, according to two people knowledgeable about the proposal. That’s compared to the Obama rule, which limited emissions to 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.”


The rollback comes as nearly 200 other nations design a new set of rules for the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump pledged to withdraw from last year.


The New York Times: “The rollback comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to design a set of rules for the Paris Agreement, the 2015 accord that called on countries to voluntarily scale back planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The Trump administration has pledged to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and at the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires last week the United States declined to promise to uphold global climate change commitments. The administration is expected to send officials to the climate conference next week to hold a side event touting the benefits of coal.”


Meanwhile, Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is such an oil industry insider, he momentarily forgot he doesn’t actually work for them.


Huffington Post: “There were moments during Tuesday’s speech where Zinke sounded like a seasoned oil man. He said he is ‘bullish’ on energy and expects that within two years the U.S. will be ‘marching real close to’ producing 14 million barrels of oil per day. And he agrees with Russian President Vladimir Putin that $60 per barrel is ‘a good spot to keep the economic engine’ in good shape, he said. ‘We’ve gotten a lot better as industry,’ Zinke said, quickly correcting himself. ‘You’ve gotten a lot better.’”