President Trump is no stranger to fighting against environmental protections — new and old — if he believes they’re a threat to business interests around the country. Man-made climate change is nothing more than a Chinese hoax, he says, but then again — would anyone be surprised to hear that Trump couldn’t care less about the environment even if he believed humans were responsible for its rampant destruction?
Probably not. So it should come as no surprise whatsoever that he’s dropped the headsman’s axe on the necks of over 85 environmental regulations since taking office.
He’s been sued by dozens of states for most of those attacks, and will almost certainly continue to be sued for any new ones he makes in the future. A Harvard Law tracker shows us which regulations have come under attack.
They include: Coal Ash Rule, Chemical Disaster Rule, Chlorpyrifos Pesticide Use, Defining Waters of the United States / Clean Water Rule, Greater Sage-Grouse Protection, National Monuments, Marine National Monuments & Marine Sanctuaries, Onshore Extraction Energy Leasing, Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Power Plant Effluent Limits, Clean Power Plan / Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines, National Petroleum Reserve Oil and Gas Development, etc.
The list continues on and on.
What does all that mean, though? For starters, around “51 percent of wetlands and 18 percent of streams across the U.S. lose their federal protections.” This is according to the Environmental Integrity Project, an organization that helps measure the consequences to some of the gutted regulations. Those waterways are some of the most important in the country, too — because they’re home to many endangered species and increase potable water quality.
It was a stark contrast to the 2015 Obama “Water of the U.S.” measure that would have increased oversight over any new laws implemented in the future, perhaps preventing Trump from gutting protections earlier this year — had it ever come to pass. Who opposed the law? Republicans, real-estate developers, and farming lobbyists.
The Coal Ash Disposal Rule would have governed how coal ash was disposed of.
The Clean Power Plan mandates a reduction of 32 percent of 2005 levels of carbon dioxide emissions by power plants by the year 2030. Trump EPA pick Scott Pruitt proposed a repeal of the law, because, we guess, who needs clean air? The law would have also added thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector in addition to saving the United States tens of billions of dollars in health care costs thanks to our cleaner air.
Dozens of states and thousands of lawyers continue to fight the Trump administration’s efforts.