FROM: THE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
While Congress failed to advance most of Trump’s legislative agenda this year, beyond Capitol Hill, the President and EPA Administrator Pruitt have been busier than bees.
But while the industrious work of bees allows plants and wildlife to flourish, Trump and Pruitt have instead been working to dismantle the regulations that protect our air…our water…and our wildlife from toxic pollution.
Here’s a timeline of Trump and Pruitt’s busy year:
January: Despite earlier press coverage that had exposed Pruitt’s close financial ties to the fossil fuel industry and history of opposing EPA regulatory actions, sparking widespread concern about his fitness to lead the agency that protects our health, Trump proceeded with formally nominating him.
February: Pruitt is confirmed in a narrow 52-46 vote, rushed through the Senate just days before a court order was set to publicly release 3,000 of his emails to the fossil fuel industry.
March: Trump signs an executive order attacking a wide swath of Obama-era climate regulations, including methane pollution standards for newly-built oil and gas facilities, a rule to limit oil and gas industry methane pollution on public and tribal lands, and carbon pollution limits on power plants, among others.
April: Trump signs an executive order that aims to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas, including a systematic review of the oil reserves present in all marine reserves designated in the past ten years, and a potentially illegal move to reverse President Obama’s 2016 Arctic drilling ban. Meanwhile, Pruitt is busy removing nearly 2,000 climate-change related webpages and documents (later obtained by an EDF FOIA request and re-published on our own website) from EPA.gov.
May: Pruitt unlawfully attempts to suspend a regulation limiting methane pollution from oil and gas facilities that were set to take effect on June 1. In their own filing documents, they admit suspending the rule would put children's health at risk. Apparently, that wasn’t a problem for Pruitt.
June: Trump announces that the United States will withdraw from the historic global Paris Climate Accord, the 2015 triumph of international cooperation in which all of the world’s countries pledged to do their best to reverse global climate change. Pruitt simultaneously moves to extend his earlier suspension of the methane pollution rule from 90 days to two years. (Happily, a federal court would rule in favor of EDF and our allies a few weeks later, calling Pruitt’s actions “arbitrary, capricious, and in excess of statutory authority” and ordering him to implement the rule without further delay.)
July: At the G-20 summit of world leaders, Trump replaces language that affirmed the US’s commitment to reducing global climate pollution with a pledge to instead help other countries to “access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently” in addition to deploying renewable energy sources.
August: Just weeks before devastating hurricanes would strike Americans in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, Trump signs an executive order reversing Obama-era guidelines that required federal agencies to mitigate flood risk in areas susceptible to climate change-related sea level rise.
September: Pruitt announces he will reconsider a 2015 regulation that, following a series of high-profile spills and leaks, sought to ensure coal plants properly disposed of coal ash byproduct.
October: Pruitt announces that EPA will repeal the landmark Clean Power Plan, America’s only nation-wide limit on carbon pollution from fossil fuel power plants, even though this vital public health and climate protection was supported by millions of public comments—including more than 480,000 filed by EDF members like you.
November: Pruitt’s EPA proposes to reopen a regulatory loophole that would allow the sale of super-polluting trucks, running outdated engines that release up to 40 times as much pollution as modern truck engines.
And this disturbing timeline only highlights their attacks on climate and clean air protections. According to the New York Times, Trump and his administration had already targeted more than 60 environmental regulations for rollback by October—and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
This Earth is our one and only home. Please help defend it by making a gift to our Year-End matching gift campaign before midnight this Sunday.
Thank you for standing strong,
P.S. EPA Administrator Pruitt has arguably been the most determined—and therefore the most dangerous—of Trump’s cabinet picks. And that’s why we’re determined to see him removed from office. Your gift to our Year-End campaign can make that goal a reality.
Environmental Defense Fund
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