REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Health, Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Trump’s ‘Polluters First’ budget is rigged against everyday people by slashing clean air and water protections that safeguard all communities from Big Oil.”
“Inhofe was like the original climate-denier in chief. He was one of the first people spouting this gibberish — fact-free but dangerous gibberish. Now he and his cronies have far more reach and are far more dangerous than they’ve ever been. . . . That’s good news for the polluters but horrible news for public health.”
“Big oil companies and auto executives may be breathing easier today, but that’s no comfort to the millions of drivers who will pay more at the gas pump or the tens of thousands of Americans whose asthma attacks will increase if Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt get their way.”
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Washington Post: How James Inhofe is upending the nation’s energy and environmental policies
MSNBC: On Team Trump, influence of the ‘Inhofe brigade’ matters
Politico: Trump takes steps toward undoing Obama’s auto emissions limits
Vice: Trump’s EPA “evisceration”
Huffington Post: White House Set To Scrap EPA Assessment Of Fuel Efficiency Standards
WEEK IN REVIEW
TRUMP’S BILLIONAIRES BUDGET: AN ALL OUT ASSAULT ON CLEAN AIR AND WATER
SPEED READ: Trump’s budget takes a sledgehammer to the EPA (WaPo)
Trump Seeks 31% Cut to EPA Budget – Biggest Reduction in Over 40 Years
Despite accounting for just 0.22 percent of federal government spending, the EPA is poised to receive the most significant cut of any department in President Trump’s budget.
“Trump’s ‘Polluters First’ budget is rigged against everyday people by slashing clean air and water protections that safeguard all communities from Big Oil,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski.
The administration wants to butcher the EPA budget from $8.1 Billion to $5.7 Billion – including firing almost 3,200 employees of the agency.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Eliminating 50 Programs that Protect Clean Air, Water and Health
Trump’s billionaires budget would result in more mercury in our air and more lead in our water. While this “may help the bottom lines of corporate polluters,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski, it “would cause enormous health problems for people all across this country.” Programs that are poised to lose more than half of their funding or be cut completely include the Office of Research and Development, Office of Science, The Energy Star Program and the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Project to name a few.
CAUGHT IN THE BUDGET CROSSHAIRS: Climate Change and the Clean Power Plan
Trump’s budget detailed an aggressive assault on public health, the economy and the environment just as his administration is preparing a broad executive order targeting how the government addresses climate change. The EO, expected next week, specifically targets the Clean Power Plan – the most significant step taken by our country to reduce carbon emissions – and discontinues funding for important climate change research and international climate change programs.
WATCH: OMB Head Mick Mulvaney Thinks Climate Change is a Waste of Taxpayer Money
In a briefing Thursday, Mick Mulvaney provided one soundbite that sums up the administration’s approach to climate change: “Regarding the question as to climate change,” Mulvaney said. “I think the President was fairly straightforward — we’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
Reminder: A majority of Americans want the federal government to do more to address climate change.
ICYMI: THE RESISTANCE: LCV Joins Lawmakers, Enviro Community in Protest Outside EPA Headquarters
LCV President Gene Karpinski addressed EPA workers, labor unions, environmental groups and scientists on Wednesday in a protest of Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration’s harmful policies.
BACKING UP: Trump Shifts Clean Car Standards into Reverse, Putting Health at Risk
Continuing a big week for prioritizing polluter profits over the health of our nation’s families, President Trump went to Michigan to announce plans to rollback clean car standards put in place by the Obama administration. “Big oil companies and auto executives may be breathing easier today,” said LCV SVP for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld, but these commonsense standards are already doing their job to slow down dangerous air pollution and protect our health while saving consumers money at the gas pump. EPA estimates from January noted the clean car standards would eliminate 540 million tons of greenhouse gases from vehicles.
WHO HAS THE EAR OF THE PRESIDENT? DENIER-IN-CHIEF INHOFE
The influence of polluter interests and climate denial in this White House extends further than any before, and one man can take much of the credit. Sen. James Inhofe has provided a large portion of former staffers to the EPA and the White House – and this week he took to CNN to defend with glee the 31 percent cut to the EPA budget.
Sen. Inhofe claimed the agency was “brainwashing our kids” with climate propaganda – statements that came as no surprise to LCV President Gene Karpinski.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Gene reminded America that “Inhofe was like the original climate-denier in chief. He was one of the first people spouting this gibberish – fact-free but dangerous gibberish. Now he and his cronies have far more reach and are far more dangerous than they’ve ever been.”
AT LEAST THERE’S ONE: Secretary of Defense James Mattis Recognizes the Threat of Climate Change
Defense Secretary James Mattis said climate change is a real and ongoing threat to national security. In previously unpublished written answers from his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis wrote “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today. It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”
Meet Wayne Tracker: Rex Tillerson’s Alter Ego For Talking About Climate Change
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman informed a court this week that Rex Tillerson used a fake email alias to correspond on issues related to climate change: Wayne Tracker. The account was not disclosed by the oil company or its lawyers as part of Schneiderman’s ongoing investigation into claims that Exxon misled the public over climate change.
NEXT WEEK: EO to Include Clean Power Plan, Coal Leasing, Climate Change
Next week, the never ending assault on clean air, water and climate change continues. The White House is rumored to release a broad executive order that will, “rewrite regulations restricting carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants, lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and revise the way climate change is factored into federal decision-making” reports the Washington Post.
IN APRIL: The fight for climate, justice and a clean energy economy continues April 29 at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC. For March details, visit the event page, here. LCV joined the Peoples Climate Movement as an official sponsor in November 2016.