Environmental activists gathered in front of the Environmental Protection Agency office building Tuesday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to nix Obama-era climate rules.
Activists demonstrated in front of the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters waving flags and signs reading “Get this toxic dump out of the White House.” Their efforts come as the president moves to roll back the so-called Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas levels by nearly 30 percent over the next 10 years.
— Deirdre Shelly (@DeirdreShelly) March 28, 2017
Environmentalists and activists suggest the president’s executive order could harm the climate and ratchet up pollution.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, for instance, released a press statement Monday night arguing Trump’s memo essentially gives fossil fuel industry unlimited license to pollute.
“Donald Trump’s executive order would let dirty power plants spew unlimited pollution into our air while ignoring the climate crisis, unraveling protections that are designed to save billions of dollars, and thousands of lives,” he said. “In fact, Trump’s sweeping order is the single biggest attack on climate action in U.S. history, period.”
Other activist groups made more in depth critiques of the president’s orders.
Tomás Carbonell, director of regulatory policy and senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund, told reporters Tuesday that the White House should conduct the same public comment period undergone during the Obama administration.
“Large majorities of Americans in red and blue states alike support strong action to reduce carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants, and the clean power plan is supported by a broad and diverse coalition of states, municipalities, power companies, leading businesses, consumer advocates, faith organizations and many others,” he said.
Greenpeace etched out a more belligerent position, however. Travis Nichols, a spokesman for the group, said the memo demonstrates the degree to which Trump is tied in with the fossil fuel industry.
“This proposed executive order gives us further proof that Trump isn’t a leader, he’s just a fossil fuel industry stooge with a presidential pen,” he told reporters, adding that the best Trump “can do is delay America’s inevitable transition to clean energy, but he can’t stop it.”
Trump promised to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s climate regulations, as well as the Paris climate summit agreement during the presidential campaign.
The order goes even farther than axing the CPP, according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Dlouhy.
The order directs EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to review and work to repeal or revise the CPP, rescinds the Interior Department’s moratorium on coal mining leases on federal lands.
It also repeals the previous administration’s guidance on how agents take global warming into account when crafting reviews for various energy projects, and all but eliminates the program that determines the “social cost of carbon,” or the SCC.
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