In the short time that President Trump has been in office; he has made one thing abundantly clear, he will not take the same steps as the last President to protect the climate. Not only will he not take the same steps, but instead, he looks to gut the protections that have been put into place.
To begin, we can look at who Trump appointed as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt. He caused an uproar last earlier this month when he said, “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see…”
However, this disagrees with, according to NASA, 97% of the scientific community who agree that human contributions are causing climate change.
Not only does the Administrator of the EPA not think that humans are contributing to climate change, but the administration has also shown interest in rolling back regulations created during President Obama’s term.
Just weeks ago President Trump signed a piece of legislation that rolled back a regulation that protected our bodies of water from coal mining waste. The bill was signed with miners who were in attendance to celebrate the event.
Also, expected to come this week is an announcement that the Clean Power Plan, an Obama era set of regulations that helped close coal fired power plants, will be rewritten. The goal of this move, to severely cripple the environmental regulations that President Obama pushed so hard for.
All of these moves line up with a comment from Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, “As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore.”
It is disturbing to see the leaders of the United States deny the reality that is human contributions to climate change. We see our leaders disagreeing with the scientific community whose jobs it is to study and analyze climate data; instead, only believing what they want to so that they can keep big fossil fuel industries happy.
However, what is even more disturbing are the crowds that still show up to support President Trump, like that of the recent rally in Kentucky. They still cheer for the xenophobic and populist ideas that got President Trump elected. One of these ideas is that the EPA has put forth extreme regulations to hurt miners and their families, when in all reality it is to save the planet for their children and grandchildren.
Even more disturbing are the miners that celebrated the deregulation that allows coal mines to dump mine waste into their own waterways. The best that we can hope for is that this will be a one term presidency and that in the end reason and science will prevail, and we will once again protect our environment.
– Mason Boyd