“From Day 1, President Trump has declared war on the environment. His first 100 Days have been horrendous when it comes to climate change, clean air and water and public health. From pushing for dirty fossil fuels to rolling back important air and water protections, Trump’s actions are making our country, and our planet, dirtier and more dangerous. He has plans to roll back 45 years of important rules and regulations that keep our communities healthy and our wild places wild. We need to continue to fight back against Trump’s attacks on our environment and our climate,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Trump’s continuous attacks on the environment, almost every other day for the last 100 days, earns him an ‘F’ for Frightening.”
Under President Trump, governmental agencies can’t even say words ‘climate change,’ let alone incorporate climate change policies in their rules and regulations. Trump has also expressed desire to pull the United States out of the Paris Accord. Early on, Trump signed a broad executive order intended to kill federal action on climate change and push fossil fuels over renewable energy. These orders will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures under the Obama Administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This action:
- eliminates the Clean Power Plan
- increases the limits on methane leaks
- rescinds National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidance that directs agencies to account for the climate crisis.
- eliminates review of emissions standards for new oil and gas operations.
Trump has also gone after environmental and climate protections in other ways.
- He has rolled back the tailpipe regulations under the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standard set by the Obama Administration. Eventually achieving those targets would have drastically reduced the nation’s vehicle tailpipe pollution, which accounts for about a third of the United States’ total greenhouse gas emissions.
- Trump’s Administration has also cut programs for home heating and weatherization
- There is a gag rule on international family planning, which can help prevent overpopulation.
- He also wants to cut research for renewable energy such as wind and solar.
Trump has supported dirty energy projects such as natural gas and oil pipelines:
- He overturned President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and has ordered the Army Corps to approve the project without proper environmental review.
- He also signed approvals for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- He recently signed series of executive orders on offshore drilling to explore new areas of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
“While climate change is one of the biggest threats to our country, Trump still believes its a hoax invented in China. His cabinet members are climate-deniers tied to the oil and gas industry. Now out of the 192 countries who signed the Paris Accords, Trump is the only world leader who is a climate-denier. The problem is what he is doing is denying people who live along the coast a future. These actions will increase flooding and sea level rise, while causing climate havoc for the entire country,” said Jeff Tittel. “We need to send a message to the Fossil Fool in the White House and his allies in Congress that we’re demanding action on climate change. We’re coming down to Washington on their 100th Day to tell them.”
Trump has cut the EPA budget by 31%. This includes:
- a 45 percent drop in funding for states
- a 23 percent drop in enforcement
- a 30 percent cut for Superfund Sites and elimination of programs that clean them up
- eliminating the Office of Environmental Justice
- cutting programs to remediate and protect from lead poisoning
Cutting state funding disrupts water quality testing at toxic sites and stops efforts to clean up our water supply and retrofit lead pipes. New Jersey gets half of our money from federal funding.
“President Trump’s budget will make things worse in New Jersey. President Trump wants to cut 30 percent of funding to states, while he has already frozen $1 billion in grants. New Jersey will feel this even harder because DEP gets half of its money from EPA to work on environmental programs, including capital projects. This is because we have assumed the work of federal programs to protect our air and water. This means New Jersey could also loose over a $100 million in funding to deal with stormwater, mitigate climate change, and retrofit lead pipes. The EPA’s revolving fund for clean water and sewer projects could be cut as well. We could see the DEP have to cut staff who are responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act, leaving a huge hole in our budget,” said Jeff Tittel.
Trump has also cut funding from other important governmental agencies and programs including:
- cutting the Department of Interior Budget by 12 percent
- cutting back funding for NOAA work to combat climate change by 70 percent
- eliminating funding for climate change research by cutting $1.8 million for the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
- eliminating programs for Coastal Water Quality Monitoring
- eliminating 13 percent in transportation funding, while eliminating New Starts, an infrastructure grant program that was supposed to be one of the largest funding sources for the Hudson River Gateway project.
“Trump is working to dismantle the agency by going after the budget. He is attacking environmental programs by cutting the budget by 31 percent and getting rid of thousands of staff. His cuts will mean that there will not enough personnel to make sure our water is safe to drink, our land is clean, our air is breathable, and New Jersey’s 118 Superfund Sites are cleaned-up. By cutting enforcement, Trump will create a polluters holiday because there will be no one to sure to make sure they aren’t violating the law. This is an outrageous attempt to protect corporate polluters instead of our health and climate” said Jeff Tittel.
- Trump is going after National Monuments by ordering the Interior Department to review the size and scope of national monuments larger than 100,000 acres created since 1996 under the Antiquities Act.
- He has cut the Department of Interior Budget by 12 percent.
- He has also lifted the moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands to increase fossil fuel extraction.
- Trump also directed the Bureau of Land Management to rescind the 2015 rule updating controls on hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands.
- He pulled an important study to regulate the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos.
- Under his Administration, protections for hibernation bears and wolves in Alaska were overturned.
“Zinke and Trump support opening our public lands to fracking and coasts to offshore drilling as well as privatizing our national parks. They want to drill off the coast of New Jersey and the rest of the Atlantic, while opening up public lands across the country. There are also bad Republican sponsored-bills such as the proposed repeal of the Antiquities Act which protects national monuments. We might see the Denali Trump Hotel or a Trump National Golf Course opened at the rim of the Grand Canyon next to a uranium mine. In New Jersey they could build a hotel in Sandy Hook or a ski area in the Delaware Water Gap,” said Jeff Tittel.
- Trump is promoting coal-fired power plants, which are one of the largest sources of pollution in the country.
- He wants to eliminate the Clean Power Plan, which would cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32% from the 2005 levels.
- He has rolled back rules for ozone, which directly affects children with asthma.
- He has also weakened and rolled back the Mercury and Air Toxic Rules.
“With the President’s executive orders to rollback climate protections, we will see more pollution and dirty air. What Trump is trying to do is rescue the dinosaur coal power plants that are dying because they are clearly the technology of the past. Coal-fired power plants are one of the largest sources of pollution in the country, emitting thousands of pounds of toxic mercury and air toxic pollution every year. Mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and other air toxins emitted from power plants are the most hazardous air pollutants,” said Jeff Tittel. “Along with his cuts in the EPA budget, this will lead to more asthma attacks, sick days, and respiratory illnesses.”
- Trump is trying to repeal the Waters of the United States Rule, which protects wetlands and prevents flooding.
- He has also cut funding for Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes cleaning.
- Trump has repealed important protections against dumping coal waste in streams.
“Trump’s attack on water regulations is an attack on our health and safety, especially his rollback of the Waters of the United States Rule. He is allowing more pollution to be dumped into our water, which can get into our drinking sources. His rollbacks leave us weakened to the effects of climate change such as sea level rise, flooding, and increased storm events,” said Jeff Tittel.
His appointed people to his cabinet who are climate-deniers tied to the oil and gas industry.
- His appointment to Secretary of State Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson will represent the interests of Big Oil over the people of the United States.
- Scott Pruitt, the new leader of the EPA, will be heading an agency that he has worked against his entire political career. He will do Trump’s dirty work when it comes to promoting pipelines and rolling back important environmental regulations.
- He appointed Rep. Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Department of the Interior who has supported increasing coal mining and oil and gas exploration.
- Rick Perry, the leader of the Department of Energy, is pro-mining, pro-fracking, and pro-destruction of public lands.
- Trump also added Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court who comes with a pro-corporate, anti-environmental record.
“61 percent of Americans think that President Trump is doing a bad job on the environment. We are building a mass movement of people fighting back through protests, rallies, town meetings, and more. The more who people who stand up against Trump’s anti-environmental agenda, the more chance we can win. We are working together to defend clean air, clean water, and climate change protections,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “It will be up to us to protect our planet from Trump’s rollbacks. We fought 45 years ago for Congress to create the EPA and now we will fight all over again to stop the President from dismantling it.”
Tomorrow the Sierra Club will join thousands of others to march Trump’s 100th Day at the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC.
Contact: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100