Trump’s Environmental Record Breaks His Promises And Hurts Florida
September 8, 2020
Trump is going to Florida today to talk about his environmental record. What he won’t mention is that, despite his promises to protect Florida’s environment, he has torn down climate policies and environmental protections and failed to prioritize Everglades restoration.
Trump repeatedly called for cuts to funding for Everglades restoration during his administration, breaking his campaign promise and prompting criticism from his own party.
TRUMP “We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars we don’t even know who’s doing what with the money. We’re going to spend the money here. We’re going to work in our own environment. That includes repairing the Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee and protecting the Florida Everglades.” [Trump Campaign Speech, Miami FL, 11/2/16]
CBS Miami: “For the third year in a row, President Donald Trump has cut federal funding for Everglades restoration in his budget, from $200 million to $63 million.”
Sun Sentinel: “Environmentalists and some high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump are criticizing his proposed budget for not including enough money for Everglades restoration. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., issued a news release Wednesday saying the White House budget request ‘failed to include sufficient funding for Everglades restoration’ efforts. ‘For the third year in a row, the administration’s budget request underfunds critical projects in South Florida,’ the lawmakers said in a joint statement. ‘It is incredibly short-sighted to continue to underfund a series of projects that are absolutely necessary to ensure the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of one of the most dynamic regions of our nation.’”
The Trump administration promised to keep Florida off the drilling map during election years, only to reconsider its plans when the political risk is lower.
Reuters: “President Donald Trump’s administration will not allow drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Florida after urging from the state’s governor, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Tuesday.”
Politico: “The Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling — and Republicans are warning it could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election. An industry lobbying offensive has put it on the cusp of achieving its holy grail: access to the resource-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. The idea is so politically toxic in Florida that past presidents haven’t even entertained it. But behind the scenes, oil and gas interests are appealing to Trump’s desire to turbocharge U.S. energy production, including his past openness to drilling off the Florida coast.”
Politico: “The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct, according to four people familiar with the plan.”
Denying climate change, Trump has squandered American leadership and ignored its threat to our environment, economy, and national security
Reuters: “President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, drawing anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry… With Trump’s action, the United States will walk away from nearly every other nation in the world on one of the pressing global issues of the 21st century.”
Washington Post: “More than four dozen former military and intelligence officials are rebuking President Trump for planning to counter the government’s own findings that climate change poses a threat to national security — warning that it’s ‘dangerous to have national security analysis conform to politics.’”
Trump filled the swamp to the brim by stacking his environmental posts with industry allies who look out for corporate interests above the environment and public health.
USA Today Editorial: “EPA Nominee Showcases How Trump Keeps Failing To Drain The Swamp.”
New York Times: “Of 20 key officials across several agencies, 15 came from careers in the oil, gas, coal, chemical or agriculture industries, while another three hail from state governments that have spent years resisting environmental regulations. At least four have direct ties to organizations led by Koch brothers, who have spent millions of dollars to defeat climate change and clean energy measures.”
Washington Post: “Having worked for years as a lobbyist representing many of the very businesses he now regulates, [David Bernhardt] walked into the No. 2 job at Interior with so many potential conflicts of interests he has to carry a small card listing them all.”
By dismantling clean air, clean water, and public land protections, Trump has done more to eliminate environmental protections than any other president.
Inside Climate News: “No American president has done more to eliminate environmental protection.”
New York Times: “In all, a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts nearly 70 environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back under Mr. Trump. More than 30 additional rollbacks are still in progress… All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to thousands of extra deaths from poor air quality each year, according to energy and legal analysts.”