What Trump is Doing: Environment

Donald Trump has said that climate change is a Chinese hoax and argued for more fossil fuel production. It’s clear he will be a far different president on the environment than his predecessor. Here’s a number of troubling developments that are already in motion:

  • Donald Trump appointed Scott Pruitt as the leader of EPA. He’s the Attorney General of Oklahoma (a state known for fracking) who has sued the EPA multiple times. Pruitt wants fewer EPA restrictions, believes states should have the ability to create their own environmental standards and won’t acknowledge the magnitude of climate change. Hundreds of EPA employees who have never spoken out against government officials before are finding their voices to contact the White House and legislators in an effort to stop Pruitt’s confirmation as head of EPA. He is clearly not the man who should be in charge of creating and maintaining environmental standards.

  • Trump told employees of USDA and EPA not to speak in public about climate change and EPA had to take down their climate change page. He is requiring that all information about climate change must be vetted by the political staff before being released to the public.

  • Trump instructed a freeze on all EPA grants and contracts within a few hours of taking office, which could stall climate change research and environmental justice projects.

  • And in yet another move against the environment, Trump signed executive actions to continue construction on the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines that Obama halted construction on. Not to mention, Trump has stock in the Dakota Access pipeline.

What's Happening in NC

Since the GOP takeover in 2010, environmental protection has taken a back seat. Politicians in Raleigh fast-tracked fracking, and even made it illegal to disclose what chemicals are being pumped into the ground. Politicians even banned state scientists from accurately calculating sea level rise, literally burying their heads in the sand on climate change.

North Carolina has also had a major issue around coal ash contamination, that was first highlighted during the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill. Hundreds of residents living near toxic coal ash waste ponds currently rely on bottled water, as their wells are contaminated with known carcinogens. Politicians have refused to make Duke Energy fully clean up the coal ash pits, and state lawmakers have so far allowed Duke to pass along any clean up costs to electricity ratepayers.

More than ever we need strong environmental leadership both locally and nationally. From coal ash to climate change, simply too much is at stake.