Trump touts environment record, green groups scoff
09 Juillet, 2019, 04:05 | Auteur: Therese Cote
President Donald Trump declared himself a champion of the environment Monday, working to boost his standing on climate change and pollution issues in advance of the 2020 election despite having launched some of the most sweeping rollbacks in air, water and other protections in decades.
Trump campaigned on rolling back some of the stringent environmental proposals put forth under President Barack Obama, saying they went too far to single out industries like coal, but the administration claims the USA still has some of the strongest environmental protections.
The White House is recognizing that "the majority of folks in the country are now beginning to pay attention to climate issues and environmental issues", said Mustafa Santiago Ali, a former longtime official in the Environmental Protection Agency's office of environmental justice. We need to live in a world that has cleaner air.
Trump made the speech at the White House alongside Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Council on Environmental Quality chief Mary Neumayr and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
He also pulled out of the Paris climate accord and undid Obama's Clean Power Plan.
"A strong economy is vital to maintaining a healthy environment", Trump declared, saying he was balancing business-friendly oversight with public health and conservation protections.
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Under former Environmental Protection Administrator Scott Pruitt and current agency head Andrew Wheeler, the EPA has rolled back key climate change and air pollution control programs, pulled the US out of the Paris climate pact, cooked the books on approving toxic chemicals and blocked a ban of a pesticide so unsafe it can harm a child's brain at even low levels of exposure. He highlighted acts of environmental stewardship his administration has taken to improve the environment.
President Donald Trump is promoting what he's calling his "environmental leadership" despite deep skepticism from former federal regulators and environmental advocates. Environmental issues are a much bigger concern for Democrats than for Trump's Republican base.
"President Trump's damaging attacks on clean water stand in stark contrast to any claims of protecting the Great Lakes".
And ahead of the speech, the Sierra Club said the President "has quickly established the worst record on the environment and climate action of any president in the history of the country".
"It's absurd for President Trump to claim any environmental credentials when his administration continues to drive a destructive pro-polluter agenda at the expense of the American people", she said. Just 8% of Democrats approved of Trump's performance on climate change, compared with 67% of Republicans. "When you think about the clean energy that America is delivering around the world - whether it's in the form of liquefied natural gas, or whether it's in our renewable technologies, whether it's in our nuclear energy technology going around the world - we are displacing literally tons and tons of old, dirty-burning gas emissions and coal emissions in Europe and replacing them with clean-burning natural gas". He's claimed windmills cause cancer and repeatedly said the U.S. has the cleanest water and air.
The United States also slipped in the global environmental rankings to No. 27 in 2018 from 26th during the previous year of the Obama administration, according to the Environmental Performance Index epi.envirocenter.yale.edu, a project by Yale and Columbia universities to measure national performance on air, water, forestry and other metrics.
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