In recent years, I’ve greeted friends with Happy Earth Day. We were beginning to recognize the importance of climate change and take steps to minimize the damage. But that was before less than 1/4 of American eligible voters got away with installing Donald Trump in the White House and giving the Republican Reich control of both branches of Congress. God help us!
[3/31/2017] In the past few weeks, the Trump administration has ramped up its efforts to make good on campaign promises to dismantle President Obama’s environmental legacy.
Congressional Republicans have enthusiastically hopped on board, seizing the opportunity to repeal any environmental rules vulnerable under the Congressional Review Act and gunning to slash funding for critical environmental and scientific agencies and programs. The Trump Administration appointed Scott Pruitt, a man with well-established ties to the fossil fuel industry and a history of suing the Environmental Protection Agency, to chair the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday morning, the Republican leadership of the House Science Committee convened a hearing for the sole purpose of challenging widely accepted climate science.
And this past Tuesday, surrounded by coal miners and bosses, Trump issued an executive order on “energy independence” which, among other things, places President Obama’s landmark Clean Power Plan directly in the line of fire and temporarily lifts the moratorium on new coal leasing on federal public lands.
Most of these developments have been months in the making. Trump and Congressional Republicans have never been quiet about their environmental agenda — namely, doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry and making grandiose but ultimately empty gestures to prop up coal.
Bottom line: it’s been a discouraging few months. This week alone has been bruising, and we’re in for a tough fight going forward.
But the persistently negative headlines, emphasizing only the administration’s determination to wreak havoc on our environment, are misleading and can be counterproductive. Not because they misstate the priorities of Trump’s White House and Congressional Republicans; those are well established. But we can’t lose sight of D.C.’s real influence, or lack thereof, over energy markets and international environmental commitments — or of the power our towns, cities, and states can wield in this fight…
We must all do every thing we can fo at every level, because Trump and his Reich won’t quit.
The time is now!