The US Environmental Protection Agency has researched, championed and defended environmental security for the last 50 years. It’s focus has always waxed and waned with the political persuasions of each Presidential Administration, yet under Trump’s oversight, its priorities have truly shifted.
Since Trump took office, nearly 75 environmental protections have been eliminated or rolled back. While delegates from over 200 countries participated in the Paris Agreement Climate Change talks, Trump pulled the US questioning the legitimacy of scientific research and calling global warming a “hoax.”
Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who has been serving as the acting Administrator of the EPA since July 2018, has been at the forefront of Trump’s alarming agenda of deregulation.
Despite international consensus that phasing out the use of fossil fuels is imperative to preventing rising global temperatures, Wheeler has replaced the Clean Power Plan with fewer restrictions coal-fired power plants and recommended to abolish limitations on newly created coal plants. He’s proposed to lessen federal protections for streams and wetlands as well as reverse Obama’s clean car standards which have significantly protected against planet-warming emissions.
In August, the National Enforcement Initiative was renamed as the National Compliance Initiative and in turn, violating companies negotiated an agreement to change their actions rather than face prosecution. In turn, the prosecution of violators is the lowest in 30 years.
Trump has nominated Wheeler to be confirmed as the permanent EPA Administrator and a vote to confirm Wheeler is to go before Congress in mid-February.
Climate change is currently the biggest threat to our world. We urge you to contact your Representatives to demand environmental protections be made a priority and support organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club who are leading the fight. - Maureen Post
Photo Credit : the Houston Chronicle