Trump asked industry which environmental rules to target next. Here are 5 of their most outrageous requests.

Keith Gaby

The Trump administration has already cancelled or sought to undermine 23 rules that protect our health and environment – including limits on toxic waste coal companies dump in rivers, and regulations promoting more fuel-efficient cars.

But the administration is hungry for more, so it’s asked companies, trade associations and lobbyists to suggest other rules they’d like the president to roll back.

Part of this wish-list process is being done in public and some, of course, is happening in private meetings. Rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has a whole “wish list” docket of its own, seem to be a particular target.

Here are five of the most brazen industry wishes submitted so far:

1. Coal tar: Trade association wants to end health studies

The Pavement Coatings and Technology Council – a trade association for the paving industry – doesn’t want research into the health dangers of the black top on which your children play foursquare.

It also doesn’t want the government to study the impact of coal tar on “freshwater sediment contamination, indoor air quality, ambient air quality, and effects on aquatic species.” 

2. Leaky oil and gas drill sites: Trade groups don’t want to fix them

Trade associations representing the oil and gas industry, including The Independent Petroleum Association of America, have filed comments attacking Clean Air Act standards requiring energy producers to take cost-effective steps to reduce methane and other air pollution.

3. Roofing fumes: Companies want no restrictions

The National Roofing Contractors Association, a trade group representing roofing companies, doesn’t want smog-forming chemicals restricted, saying such regulations “have been burdensome to our members.”

4. Cancer-causing lubricants: Manufacturers say they should still be used

No, not that kind of lubricant. The Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association complained that the newly established chemical safety law may require its members to find replacement products for materials known to cause cancer in humans.

5. Toxic pesticide: Chemical manufacturer wants ban removed

Don’t try to pronounce chlorpyrifos, just know this pesticide hurts kids’ health. That’s what the EPA had concluded last year, and proposed banning it after years of research showing that it causes developmental problems in children and that there are alternatives.

That is, until Pruitt came along, and under pressure from the manufacturer, ignored his own scientists and rejected the proposed ban, saying it needs more study.

Why this wish list should be taken seriously

The Trump administration seems to view all health and environmental safeguards as potentially suspicious. That’s in spite of strong data showing that environmental rules actually help the economy – by preventing illness, missed school days, worker absence, productivity problems and early death.

President Trump, who encountered these safeguards as impediments to building hotels faster and cheaper, promised to rid the government of 75 percent of rules that get in industry’s way.

With an EPA administrator more eager to please his boss than to protect Americans’ health, it’s now our job to fight back and protect our kids.


Our environment did not become unhealthy without humans being unaware of what they were doing. Today, there is no excuse for being unaware...the science is there to support the efforts over the past 30 years to make changes to what we are doing to the environment and to each other. Please put us back on the path to protect and defend our environment.

Jim Smith
May 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm

I fully agree with you, Jim. Especially getting back on the path to protect and defend our environment. We have become way off that track.

Chris Baron
May 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

In reply to by Jim Smith

Maintain environment al protection from lobbying by polluting industries interested in continuing their polluting activists to further enhance profitability. We see the evil that you are trying to do.

Barbara Miller
February 17, 2018 at 11:40 am

In reply to by Jim Smith

Everything he's done so far is so offensive to me. We must protect the environment, not abuse it further.

Susan Martin
May 6, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Coal tar should be banned due to its high concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. There are other pavement sealants that are not carcinogenic and are comparable cost to coal tar. We must stop the distribution of such toxic material. Protect our children, pets, and water resources by stopping use of coal tar sealants.

Mary Ellen DeClue
May 6, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Mary Ellen, so true and thanks for the comment!

Let's hope that this real toxic product that is dumped at our homes, schools and businesses is not protected by myopic broad-brush policies.

Tom Ennis
Coal Tar Free America

Tom Ennis
May 12, 2017 at 8:53 am

In reply to by Mary Ellen DeClue

The roll of government is to work for the people, not for special interests. That means preserving a safe environment for our children. Trump and Pruitt are in violation of their duty to the people.

ted rees
May 7, 2017 at 1:09 am

Impeach drump for being a danger to society!

May 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Utterly absurd requests that should be ignored by the administration if they are serious about protecting the environment, which I know they are not. Nonetheless, it's ludicrous for the USA to ignore the Paris Climate accord. We will only lose out in maintaining any credibility and technological lead if we act like moral cowards and follow the president's plans to ignore climate change.

Kerry M Berger
May 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm

We the People must charge billionaire Trump with ecocide before he destroys the U.S. and the world. Ten countries have codified ecocide as a crime during peacetime. Those countries follow closely the ILC Draft articles definition of "An individual who wilkfully causes or orders the causing of widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment shall, on conviction thereof, be sentenced [to...]."

Although there are Laws of Ecocide in place, the effectiveness of these laws depends on a number of factors including the enforcement of the law, an independent judiciary and respect for the rule of law. Many of the countries with national laws of ecocide in place are ranked very highly for corruption and low for respect for the rule of law by Transparency International:

Ronda Evans
May 11, 2017 at 11:04 am

You are supposed to be protecting, WE THE PEOPLE !!

Betty Tomblin
February 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

Pimping Death & Disease in the name of profit. Inexcusable......

How about all of the lobbyists, industry groups, etc sit in a closed room w/ their desired chemical products open in the middle & see how long they can make it. Sounds like some good ole-fashioned justice to me

June 7, 2018 at 11:19 am

What he is already doing is going to cause harm to the entire planet and humans worldwide. Passing these new proposals is tantamount to the United States declaring war on the entire world and should be dealt with as such. I am a natural-born US citizen, but I am ready to stand here and take it on the chin should it come to that. We cannot stand by doing nothing and letting one greedy maniac destroy our planet 😡

Richard Czesna…
July 28, 2018 at 9:46 pm

We as a nation can not allow anyone to cause pollution, and poisoning of our water.

Kathleen Fuller
November 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

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