EDF Action Statement: Trump Will Attempt to "Talk His Way Out" of Damaging Environmental Record

July 8, 2019
Hannah Blatt, hblatt@edfaction.org, 202-572-3534

(Washington, D.C. – July 8, 2019) EDF Action President Joe Bonfiglio released the following statement in anticipation of President Trump’s speech attempting to cover up his disastrous environmental record:

“President Trump has obviously seen the polls showing that Americans care about clean air, clean water, and solving climate change — so today he’s reportedly going to try to do the impossible: talk his way out of the most damaging and backward environmental record in American history. The fact is that the Trump administration has worked to undermine environmental protections established by both Republican and Democratic presidents, compiling what can charitably be called a disastrous environmental record.”  

Below is a partial list of the areas where the administration has attempted to undermine public health protections:

  • Overall: Broadly attacking environmental safeguards and appointing industry lobbyists and industry insiders to key positions, including head of EPA and Secretary of the Interior.
  • Climate – Withdrawing from Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States isolated in the world.
  • Climate – Suppressing science, removing climate data from government websites, appointing climate skeptics.
  • Climate — Attacking clean cars standards, which will lead to billions of tons of additional carbon pollution
  • Climate – Attacking the Clean Power Plan and other climate pollution limits for power plants.
  • Climate – Seeking to undermine climate science and the national security community’s assessment of the danger to military bases, troops, and readiness.
  • Climate – The president’s rhetoric doubting climate science and impacts.
  • Climate – Gutting oil and gas pollution standards.
  • Climate – Trying to delay standards to reduce methane pollution from landfills.
  • Clean Air – Seeking to undermine the foundation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which save more than 10,000 lives a year.
  • Clean Air – Creating a toxics loophole, that will allow industrial facilities to increase their emissions of toxic air pollutants like benzene, lead, and mercury.
  • Clean Air – Attacking pollution limits for super-polluting heavy-duty diesel freight trucks.
  • Clean Air – Undermining good neighbor protections (downwind areas hurt by smog).
  • Clean Air – Attempting to undermine expert review and implementation of ozone standards.
  • Clean Air – Attacking protections that require large industrial sources to install modern pollution controls when they are expanding operations and increasing pollution levels.
  • Clean Air – Dramatically reducing environmental enforcement by EPA.
  • Science — Broadly attacking science on air quality standards, including for soot & smog.
  • Science- Installing industry insiders to lead science boards.
  • Health – Illegal and dramatically imbalanced implementation of the new TSCA law, allowing chemical industry insiders to write rules, waving potentially dangerous chemicals on the market.
  • Health – Suppressing important health studies on chemicals like formaldehyde.
  • Health – Proposing a weak lead action plan without clear goals, funding, or deadlines.
  • Fisheries - Illegally extending the private recreational fishing season for Gulf of Mexico red snapper without proper scientific analysis, causing fishing to exceed catch limits and further delay to the stock’s recovery.
  • Wildlife – Undermining a historic 2015 agreement between 10 states and the federal government to protect Greater Sage-Grouse and keep the bird off of the Endangered Species list.
  • Wildlife – Eliminating compensatory mitigation at the Bureau of Land Management, a critical tool that actually provides for economic growth and protection of the environment and species
  • Wildlife – Continuing to propose budgets that slash funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • Conservation – Continuing to propose budgets that slash funding for the US Department of Agriculture conservation programs that improve soil health and water quality in critical watersheds across the country.
  • EPA Budget – Repeatedly recommending nearly 1/3rd cuts to EPA’s budget, which would eviscerate the agency’s ability to protect public health.
  • Secrecy – Operating without transparency including suppressing previously public materials like key analytic models and senior officials’ calendars.