Trump and the Environment: “The Governmental Equivalent of a Hostile Takeover”

Foreign Affairs article by EDF President Fred Krupp Looks at the President’s Environmental Agenda

June 16, 2017
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – June 14, 2017) Foreign Affairs magazine has just published EDF president Fred Krupp’s new analysis of the Trump Administration’s environmental agenda – just as the fight over the 2018 federal budget heats up in Congress.

The essay, in the July-August issue of Foreign Affairs, observes that “Trump’s position on environmental protection has been consistent: he wants far less of it.”

Krupp, drawing on more than thirty years’ experience as an environmental leader who has worked with both Republican and Democratic administrations, takes a close look at actions by the President that are undermining the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to carry out its historic mission:

“The president’s choice to lead the EPA, the Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, rose to prominence by teaming up with fossil fuel producers to sue the agency 14 times. As attorney general, he allowed industry lobbyists to draft some of his letters to the EPA; now he runs the organization. It is the governmental equivalent of a hostile takeover.”

Krupp focuses on the potential public health impacts of the Administration’s proposed deep reduction in the EPA budget, as well as its attempt to roll back a long list of key environmental standards. 

​“Rolling back regulations will take its toll on public health. For example, revoking the Clean Power Plan and thus allowing companies to emit more dangerous air pollutants would cause up to 3,600 more premature deaths, 1,700 more heart attacks, 90,000 more asthma attacks, and 300,000 more missed work and school days each year, according to the EPA’s own analysis.​”​ 

The piece also presents strong grounds for optimism – from state and local governments and leading corporations that are not waiting for Washington to lead on clean energy, to hundreds of thousands of Americans who are calling for environmental protections:

“In April, hundreds of thousands of Americans protested in marches held around the country in support of action on climate change and serious, unbiased science. By rejecting the administration’s assumption that it can eliminate hard-won environmental safeguards without consequence, they can help turn back the worst of the administration’s environmental agenda. Their voices were critical, for example, in persuading the Senate to reject the administration’s attempt to revoke commonsense rules to control methane emissions on federal land.”

Foreign Affairs is a subscribers-only magazine, but you can read the entire piece – “Trump and the Environment: What His Plans Would Do” – via this link.​

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