Driving by one of my favorite places in the world, Rincon Point, there is evidence of the fires and floods everywhere. I am happy to see some green coming through, but it also feels pretty hopeless when thinking about what our country’s “leadership” has been doing—or rather not doing—the last few years and how on this path we’re just going to keep seeing more fires, floods, and pollution. I just read this article by National Geographic journalist Sara Gibbens who wrote about 15 ways the Trump administration has changed environmental policies in this article. Here are a few of the highlights, or I guess we should say lowlights.
- U.S. pulls out of Paris Climate Agreement
- Trump EPA poised to scrap clean power plan. You just can’t make coal great again
- EPA loosens regulations on toxic air pollution
- Rescinding methane-flaring rules
- Trump announces plan to weaken Obama-era fuel economy rules. Fortunately, California and a lot of other states aren’t listening to him.
- Trump revokes flood standards accounting for sea-level rise
- Waters of the U.S. Rule revocation reducing protection for federal water
- NOAA green lights seismic airgun blasts for oil and gas drilling that disorients and harms whales and dolphins
- Interior Department relaxes sage grouse protection, which is really about land use rights
- Trump officials propose changes to handling the Endangered Species Act, also really about land use and if it is ok to drill and destroy it.
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act reinterpretation (same as above)
- Plans to dramatically downsize two national monuments, like what he did Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, which he opened for mining and drilling companies in 2017.
- Executive order calls for sharp logging increase on public lands
- Trump dropped climate change from list of national security threats
- EPA criminal enforcement hits 30-year low
Please adults, vote for leadership who will protect our environment for future generations, not destroy it for short-term gains.