Trump Is Polluting Our Environment

Trump continues to roll back EPA rules that limit harmful pollutants, his administration has reduced toxic Superfund site cleanups to a 30-year low, and he’s putting people in charge of protecting our environment who have no interest in actually protecting our environment.

Toxic Superfund site cleanups fell to the lowest level in more than 30 years.

Associated Press: “The Trump administration completed the fewest cleanups of toxic Superfund sites last year than any administration since the program’s first years in the 1980s, figures released by the Environmental Protection Agency indicated Wednesday.”

Trump plans to make a change that even the industry doesn’t want to an EPA rule limiting harmful pollutants from power plants.

Washington Post: “The EPA is about to change a rule cutting mercury pollution. The industry doesn’t want it.”

Washington Post: “Despite a chorus of opposition from unions, business groups and electric utilities, the EPA is on the verge of finalizing its proposal as part of a broader effort to overhaul how the government calculates the health benefits of cleaner air. Coal executives have lobbied for it, arguing it represented one of the worst excesses of what President Trump calls ‘the war on coal.’ The agency plans to declare that it is not ‘appropriate and necessary’ for the government to limit harmful pollutants from power plants, even though every utility in America has complied with standards put in place in 2011 under President Barack Obama.”

A top official who pushed Trump to leave the Paris climate agreement is now being brought back to help lead the EPA.

Washington Post: “Mandy Gunasekara, who pressed for President Trump to exit the Paris climate agreement as the Environmental Protection Agency’s top air-policy adviser, is poised to return to the agency as its next chief of staff, according to two individuals briefed on the matter.”

Trump administration analyses show that the economic costs of Trump’s move to roll back fuel efficiency standards outweigh the benefits.

New York Times: “In January, administration staff members appointed by President Trump sent a draft of the scaled-back fuel economy standards to the White House, but six people familiar with the documents described them as ‘Swiss cheese,’ sprinkled with glaring numerical and spelling errors (such as ‘Massachusettes’), with 111 sections marked “text forthcoming.’ The cost-benefit analysis showed that consumers would lose more money than they would gain. And, because the new auto pollution rule lacks the detailed technical analyses required by law, the regulations would be unlikely to withstand court challenges.”

New York Times: “Instead of boosting the economy, the analyses show that the rule’s economic costs would outweigh its benefits, according to the people who have viewed the documents. For months, Trump administration aides crunching the numbers of the new rule have come up with the same unwelcome result: while lower sticker prices on less fuel-efficient cars would save consumers money upfront, fuel costs over time would overwhelm the initial savings.”

While the Trump administration ignores the effects of climate change, a majority of Americans now say it should be a top public policy priority. 

New York Times: “For the first time in the survey’s two-decade history, a majority of Americans said dealing with climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress. That’s a 14 percentage point rise from four years ago.”