Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: The Anti-Environmental President

Recently, President Trump declared himself ‘the #1 environmental president’ and congratulated his administration for ‘our incredible record of natural conservation and environmental protection.’ This is typical Trump, claiming to do one thing while doing the opposite. But, his actions speak louder than his words.

Members of the Trump administration with long established business affiliations have been favoring industry as they busily rewrite environmental laws and policies. Some examples: Trump’s first EPA head, Scott Pruitt, came to the job after years of close ties to the fossil fuel industry and an extensive record of attacking the EPA and undermining environmental regulations. Following Pruitt as EPA’s leader, is Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist. In the Dept. of the Interior, Trump’s first chief was Ryan Zinke, who, since being appointed, opened up our public lands and oceans to the fossil fuel industry, removed protections of endangered wildlife, eliminated environmental safeguards putting industrial interests first, and suppressed science-based evidence. Next in line came David Bernhardt, previously a top lobbyist for oil, gas and mining and since assuming office, has taken up slashing environmental protections where Zinke left off. Trump’s choice to lead the Bureau of Land Management was William Pendley, known to have radical anti-environmental views and to be a long time advocate for selling off our public lands.

These are just a few of the many in Trump’s administration who have deep seated business loyalties. Trump has not been ‘draining the swamp’ of corrupt, biased politicians like he touts. He has been doing the opposite. We all know a major problem with Washington has been politicians being influenced and controlled by big business. Trump has made that situation worse. His pro-business leaders are undermining the very environmental departments they oversee rather than carrying on the longstanding missions of those agencies. Consequently our environment is paying the price.

For the last 3.5 years Trump's administration has been diligently at work gutting over 100 environmental regulations to favor industry. These include landmark regulations such as the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act, put into place decades ago (ironically) by Republicans. Along with most of his appointees, Trump actions show him to be a climate change denier making the problem worse as he accommodates the fossil fuel industry. His administration has opened up 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, most of the US coastline, and millions of acres of public lands to oil and gas drilling and exploration. He has pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, squelched Obama’s Clean Power Plan and Clean Car Standards, and even attacked efficiency light bulbs. His people have also killed regulations that required leak detection and limits for releases of the very potent greenhouse gases, methane and hydrofluorocarbons.

Considering all of the above, all the other environmental regulations his people continue to hack away at, and all the other goings on not mentioned here, Donald J. Trump is easily the worst environmental president this country has ever had. Hopefully a lot of the damage that he and his administration have done, can and will be reversed by sensible, logically thinking, future presidents who know that good government does not disregard science.

If you haven’t liked how CMP had all the power and rights to push their transmission line corridor on Mainers ... be aware that Trump is giving industry even more power and rights over citizens and the environment. Conserve our environment, other species, clean air, and clean water. Don't vote to re-elect Trump.

Lindy Moceus
Vienna

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