Trump’s 74 Top Failures on Climate

On June 14, President Trump turns 74. To “celebrate,” we compiled a list of his top 74 failures that have worsened the climate crisis. Happy birthday, Mr. President. 

 

 

  • He bizarrely claimed that windmills cause cancer (they don’t). This makes sense as Trump once admitted: “I’ve never understood wind.”

 

  • He tweeted that his administration had done more for black communities “than any President since Abraham Lincoln”– all while his administration colluded with fossil fuel companies dumping toxic chemicals near communities of color

 

  • His company sued the Scottish government to stop them from building a wind farm off the coast of his golf course in Aberdeen. The suit failed and the Trump Organization was ordered to pay the Scottish government’s legal fees.

 

  • He gutted a rule limiting methane emissions on public lands which would have saved the United States $188 million per year. No one likes throwing away money like you, Mr. President.

 

  • He appointed climate denier Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Pruitt held deep ties to the fossil fuel industry and questioned the evidence that carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. Pruitt’s career was short, but it is fondly remembered in a Rolling Stone profile titled “Requiem for a Grifter.” (Is this who Trump meant when he said he was only bringing on the “best people?”).

 

  • He then appointed coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to head the EPA. Wheeler’s private-sector accomplishments include convincing his client to donate $300,000 to Trump’s inauguration, lobbying Trump to gut Bear’s Ears national monument, and bribing the head of the Senate Committee that went on to confirm him to the EPA. (Again, is this who Trump meant when he said he was only bringing on the “best people.”)

 

 

  • He then appointed former fossil fuel industry lobbyist David Bernhardt to head the Interior Department. When Bernhardt started working in the Trump administration, he reportedly had so many potential conflicts of interest he had to carry a list on an index card into meetings. 

 

  • His Department of Transportation proposed criminalizing protesting pipeline projects, violating citizens’ First Amendment rights.  All to protect Trump’s fragile ego. What a snowflake.

 

  • He threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans instead of providing food, water, or other emergency aid following Hurricane Maria. 

 

 

  • He falsely tweeted that windmills contribute to warming the earth. (lol)

 

  • He reversed a ban on hunting techniques in Alaska that now allows hunters to shoot wolf and bear pups. Yes, you read that correctly: Trump made it easier to kill baby wolves and bears for sport.

 

  • He tweeted, during a dangerously heavy snowstorm, “Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” One week later, a polar vortex fueled by climate change struck the northern US, killing at least 21 people.

 

  • He disputed his own government’s report on the existence of climate change. Many, many times.

 

  • In a single breath, Trump said “I’ve never understood wind, you know I know windmills very much.”

 

  • He withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

  • He rolled back the Clean Power Plan that would have cut pollution and saved thousands from premature death, asthma attacks and heart attacks. 

 

  • He lifted the ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Brings new life to the Republican’’s favorite motto: drill, baby, drill. 

 

  • He canceled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions that cause climate change because to Trump, polluters matter far more than people

 

  • He implemented tariffs on solar imports from China, costing 62,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion worth of new industry investment. Art of the Deal. 

 

  • His administration withheld approval for the country’s first utility-scale offshore wind project because Trump hates windmills. He thinks they are ugly. Yep, that’s actually the reason why.

 

  • He weakened offshore drilling safety regulations implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, including reduced testing requirements for blowout prevention systems (ya’know, the systems that prevent oil rigs from exploding).

 

  • He rolled back clean car standards — over the objections of the auto industry — that required auto manufacturers to invest in hybrid, electric, and low-pollution vehicles.

 

  • He mocked the World Bank for tying climate change to poverty: “The World Bank is tying poverty to ‘climate change’ And we wonder why international organizations are ineffective.” (Fact check: climate change is absolutely tied to poverty.)

 

  • His Department of Transportation wrote that Washington state could not regulate trains carrying oil within its borders because it could not use “safety as a pretext for inhibiting market growth.” (at least they’re being honest they don’t care at all about your safety)

 

 

  • He revoked flood standards for federal infrastructure projects that required the government to account for sea level rise and other climate change effects (essentially making it government policy to stick your head in the sand and hope the water doesn’t rise.)

 

  • He revoked an executive order designed to preserve ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters in favor of a policy focused on energy production and economic growth. (again, polluters over people)

 

  • He mocked a group of climate scientists stranded at sea in an ice storm.

 

  • He repealed a requirement that state and regional authorities track tailpipe emissions from vehicles on federal highways. (because why does he need data or facts – he’ll ignore them anyways)

 

  • He withdrew an order to consider climate change in the management of natural resources in national parks.

 

  • He weakened the Endangered Species Act, making it more difficult to protect wildlife from long-term threats posed by climate change. 

 

  • He scaled back pollution protections for certain tributaries and wetlands that were regulated under the Clean Water Act. (You might be sensing a trend here. Trump always puts polluters over people. I wonder if them donating $$$$ has anything to do with it?)

 

  • He stopped the United States’ payments to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations program to help developing countries reduce carbon emissions.

 

  • He weakened rules that govern how refineries monitor pollution in surrounding communities.

 

  • He attacked 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. (she trolled back, and won.)

 

  • He rolled back most of the requirements of a 2017 rule aimed at improving safety at sites that use hazardous chemicals that was instituted after a chemical plant exploded in Texas. 

 

  • He cut FEMA’s budget by 43% between 2018 and 2019, despite increasingly frequent and destructive natural disasters caused by climate change. Now the agency responsible for disaster response is crippled and we’re facing one of the biggest hurricane seasons in recent memory)

 

  • He took $165 million away from FEMA disaster and preparedness programs to fund ICE’s deportation machine. 

 

  • He moved the permitting process for certain projects that cross international borders, such as oil pipelines, to the office of the president to exempt them from environmental review.

 

  • He tweeted that wind turbines killed 13-39 million birds and bats per year — cats kill more birds per year than wind turbines. Also, climate change kills birds. And people.

 

  • He undermined federal rules regulating mercury in power plants. Mercury is incredibly harmful to the kidneys, nervous system, and lungs, especially of children and pregnant women. Even one of the Senate’s more ardent polluter apologists, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, opposed Trump’s rule change.

 

  • He revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams. 

 

  • He weakened a rule meant to reduce air pollution in national parks and wilderness areas.

 

  • At the urging of his fossil fuel overlords, he made significant cuts to the borders of two national monuments in Utah and recommended border and resource-management changes to several more.

 

  • He tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” 

 

  • He eliminated the use of a planning system designed to minimize harm from oil and gas activity on sensitive landscapes, such as national parks.

 

  • He revoked a directive for federal agencies to minimize impacts on water, wildlife, land and other natural resources when approving development projects.

 

  • He approved permitting for the Keystone XL pipeline. 

 

  • He relaxed air pollution regulations for a handful of plants that burn waste coal for electricity.

 

  • His administration insisted the words “climate change” be omitted from a statement issued by the Arctic Council. 

 

  • He overturned an Obama-era guidance that ended U.S. government financing for new coal plants overseas except in rare circumstances.

 

  • He sought to undermine scientists by changing the methodology used in the National Climate Assessment. Failing that, he tried to bury it.

 

  • He rejected his own scientists’ recommendations to ban a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children. Is it coincidence that Dow Chemical – the #1 producer of this pesticide – donated $1 million to his inauguration?

 

  • He approved permitting for the Dakota Access pipeline over the objections of the indigenous communities’ concerns about their health and land. 

 

  • He rescinded water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.

 

  • He rolled back a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration in the majority of U.S. coasts. 

 

  • He threatened to cut federal funding for wildfire efforts following California’s 2019 wildfires because… it’s a blue state?

 

  • He withdrew a proposed rule aimed at reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.

 

  • He altered a National Weather Service map with a sharpie to include Alabama in Hurricane Dorian’s projected pathway. It wasn’t. 

 

  •  He withdrew a requirement that Gulf oil rig owners prove they can cover the costs of removing rigs once they stop producing.

 

  •  He weakened a rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters.

 

  • He proposed opening up 1,500 acres right outside the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. Not even the Grand Canyon is safe from Trump’s relentless bid to sell every bit of open land to his political allies.

 

  • He repealed rules meant to reduce leaking and venting of powerful greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons from large refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

 

  • He scrapped a proposed rule that required dirty mining operations to prove they could pay to clean up future pollution. 

 

  • He withdrew guidance directing federal agencies to include greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews, despite losing more than 12 court battles over the practice.

 

  • He rolled back a roughly 40-year-old interpretation of a policy aimed at protecting migratory birds, potentially running afoul of treaties with Canada and Mexico.

 

  • He directed agencies to stop using a calculation of the social cost of carbon that rulemakers used to estimate the long-term economic benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

 

  •  He lifted a freeze on new coal leases on public lands. In April 2019, a judge ruled that the Interior Department could not begin selling new leases without completing an environmental review. In February, the agency published an assessment that concluded restarting federal coal leasing would have little environmental impact. (A boldfaced lie.)

 

  • He revoked an executive order that set a goal of cutting the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 10 years.

 

  • He tweeted that his environmental policies were “helping America tremendously.”

 

  • He used the pandemic crisis to hand out 65 environmental rollbacks, policy changes, or handouts to the fossil fuel industry while more than 600,000 clean energy jobs were lost.