Trump Is Forcing Through Dozens of Anti-Science Rules In Final Weeks of His Presidency
Washington, D.C. — Donald Trump is using his last moments of presidential power to push forward dozens of anti-science policies and rollbacks of health and environmental protections — the vast majority of which would ultimately benefit Big Oil and anti-climate polluter CEOs.
Trump’s campaign to cement his legacy as the country’s most anti-environment president in history is particularly egregious after nearly 80 million Americans voted for President-elect Joe Biden’s vision of a clean energy future. Biden’s climate policies would be a sharp turn from the Trump administration’s legacy of selling off our public lands and health to the highest bidder.
But Trump knows the Biden-Harris administration will put an end to his corruption that gave oil and gas industry CEOs free rein to pollute frontline communities without consequence.
“Trump is rushing forward dozens of harmful, destructive, and dangerous anti-environment rules for one purpose: to pay back the CEOs who powered his presidency while poisoning communities across the country. Instead of working to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, Trump is showing us once again he prioritizes corporate profits over the health and livelihoods of the people,” said Lori Lodes, Executive Director of Climate Power 2020.
This eleventh-hour scheme to approve dozens of new anti-environmental rules includes leasing land for oil drilling in the Arctic refuge, changing widely popular energy efficiency standards, and lowering critical air quality standards – actions that will all have devastating repercussions for our environment and public health. Trump also fired the scientist in charge of the National Climate Assessment and plans to replace the official with a known climate denier.
The new policies and rollbacks Trump is fast-tracking include:
- Moving to sell drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – the nation’s last pristine wilderness area. Opening up the Arctic for drilling has long been a top priority for the oil and gas industry.
- Cementing current air pollution standards that have been widely criticized by public health experts as being too lax to protect communities from ozone and toxic soot particles toxic air particles.
- Finalizing the so-called ‘secret science’ rule that prevents agencies from using scientific research and data to create new safeguards and protections.
- Moving forward a rule that stops federal agencies from including the cost of pollution or benefits from future safeguards when determining the cost of action.
- Reviewing policies that allow for criminal penalties against individuals or companies who kill migratory birds.
- Seeking to change the definition of “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act — an action that would loosen protections for the world’s most at-risk wildlife.
- Weakening regulations that govern the energy efficiency standards for furnaces and other appliances, including showerheads.
- Allowing for drilling and mining on public lands surrounding Chaco Canyon National Historical Park – a sacred site for the Navajo and Pueblo people in the region.
In the 2020 election, voters delivered Biden to the White House with a resounding mandate for climate action, showing that the politics of climate have changed and the Trump administration’s approach of environmental rollbacks and science denial are not what Americans want from their government. Biden has promised to reverse several of Trump’s most egregious environmental policies as part of his bold climate agenda – starting with rejoining the Paris Agreement on Day One.