Donald Trump is not just engaged in a war on objective reality and the truth, he’s also been hellbent on destroying the environment. The New York Times has a long investigative report on his tireless efforts to do away with regulations that protect our air and water and the damaging effects those efforts are already having all over the country.
Since Mr. Trump took office, his approach on the environment has been to neutralize the most rigorous Obama-era restrictions, nearly 80 of which have been blocked, delayed or targeted for repeal, according to an analysis of data by The New York Times.
With this running start, Mr. Trump is already on track to leave an indelible mark on the American landscape, even with a decline in some major pollutants from the ever-shrinking coal industry. While Washington has been consumed by scandals surrounding the president’s top officials on environmental policy — both the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior secretary have been driven from his cabinet — Mr. Trump’s vision is taking root in places as diverse as rural California, urban Texas, West Virginian coal country and North Dakota’s energy corridor.While the Obama administration sought to tackle pollution problems in all four states and nationally, Mr. Trump’s regulatory ambitions extend beyond Republican distaste for what they considered unilateral overreach by his Democratic predecessor; pursuing them in full force, Mr. Trump would shift the debate about the environment sharply in the direction of industry interests, further unraveling what had been, before the Obama administration, a loose bipartisan consensus dating in part to the Nixon administration.
During the campaign, Trump made it a point to tell his audience that because he was rich, he could not be bought off by “special interests” (a useless political phrase if ever there was one). What he didn’t tell them was that he didn’t need to be bought off because he agreed with much (not all) of the corporate world that a nation in which they were able to spew as much pollution into the air, rivers, streams and lakes was one in which we had “freedom.” Tell the kid who has asthma because of local air pollution that he should be grateful big business is so “free” to emit the very substances that cause him so much suffering.