Trump Doesn’t Have An Environmental Record, So He’s Going To Florida To Pretend Otherwise
Washington, D.C. – President Trump is in Jupiter, Florida today to discuss his so-called “environmental accomplishments,” but this is a lie as his record as the most anti-nature president in history is hurting Floridians and the state’s economy.
It’s been reported that today’s speech will focus on a pledge to invest in the restoration of the Florida Everglades. But you should be prepared for Trump to offer a number of falsehoods and lies. The truth is the Trump administration is expanding offshore drilling, selling off public lands and waters to Big Oil CEOs, and attacking critical safeguards that protect our air and water from harmful pollution.
It’s clear why Trump is desperate to lie about his anti-environmental record in this critical swing state. Climate change touches nearly every industry and family in Florida — regardless of geographic or political affiliation. And Trump’s ‘climate change is a hoax’ strategy is a losing message in a state where the election will be decided by narrow margins — 59% of Floridians are worried about climate change and 61% of Floridians believe the president should do more to address it.
“Trump patting himself on the back for his nonexistent environmental record while denying climate change is a slap in the face to the millions of Floridians living with the consequences of his climate destruction,” said Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power 2020. “The truth is Trump is threatening to open Florida’s waters for offshore drilling, gaslighting Americans on algae and fish kills, and polluting our drinking water.”
Here are some of Trump’s most dangerous environmental actions, their consequences, and how his record has hurt Florida families:
Trump plans to open Florida’s waters for offshore drilling.
- Earlier this year, it was reported the Trump administration was preparing to allow oil and gas drilling off the shores of Florida — but only after the 2020 election due to the unpopularity of offshore drilling among Florida voters. Remember, in 2018, Florida voters backed an amendment to ban offshore drilling 68 to 32 percent.
- Trump has already publicly lied about offshore drilling in Florida. In 2018, the Trump administration announced a 5-year plan to open up 90 percent of the outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Senator Rick Scott held a press conference claiming they would remove Florida from the plan, however, the administration never actually took Florida off the draft plan.
Trump’s policies are making toxic algae blooms worse.
- Toxic algae linked to respiratory conditions and serious illness plagues Florida’s waterways. Red and blue-green tide algae are fueled by pollution and turbocharged by climate change.
- At a rally last year in Sunrise, FL, Trump bragged “I also signed legislation authorizing $100 million to fight red tide and other toxic algae.” He made the same brag in his widely–debunked environmental speech from the White House.
- The truth is, Trump’s FY 2021 budget request would have completely eliminated the same algae research program authorized in the bill he bragged about signing.
- All four of Trump’s budget proposals have called for completely eliminating a $172 million grant program to help states control nonpoint source pollution such as the agricultural runoff that fuels algae blooms.
Trump’s policies have gutted conservation efforts in Florida.
- All four of Trump’s budget proposals have called for completely eliminating the nearly $30 million National Estuary Program, which helps to restore water quality.
- Trump’s last budget proposal called for gutting the Clean Water State Revolving Fund by more than $500 million dollars, with Florida losing almost $17.5 million. State and local governments rely on this funding to control pollution from agricultural runoff and leaking septic systems.
- Trump’s FY2021 budget proposed what one Everglades advocate called “the minimum investment needed” for Everglades restoration after facing bipartisan pressure.
Trump continues denying climate change even as Floridians struggle with the consequences.
- Florida is facing one of the worst hurricane seasons on record.
- Currently, 3.5 million people are at risk of coastal flooding in Florida and by 2050, an additional 1.1 million people are projected to be at risk of coastal flooding due to sea-level rise.
- More than 1.5 million people are currently at risk of inland flooding in Florida.
Trump’s climate denial is hurting Florida’s economy.
- Climate change will cost Florida $100.9 billion a year by the year 2100.
- Florida stands to lose more homes and real estate value to sea level rise damage than any other state in the country as, by 2100, more than 1 million homes in Florida will face flooding.
- Florida has a promising clean energy jobs sector, which ranked 3rd in the nation in 2019 and employed 166,032 workers, but Trump threatens to decimate this industry. Trump’s war on clean energy and failed COVID response have killed 1.1 million clean energy jobs, including nearly 27,000 in Florida.
- “Trump Is Desperately Trying To Greenwash His Record Ahead Of The Election” [Huffington Post]
- “AP FACT CHECK: Trump and an eco legacy not his own.” [Associated Press]
- “Trump Budget Cuts Threaten Florida’s Waters” [Sun Sentinel Editorial]
- “Trump’s 2019 Budget Plan Would Again Target Regional Water Cleanup Programs” [Associated Press]
- “Trump Wetlands Rule Rollback Makes About 6 Million Acres In Florida Unprotected” [Tampa Bay Times]
- “Setting the Record Straight – A Deeper Lake Okeechobee is More Dangerous, Dirtier, and Unhealthy” [Audubon Florida]