Unraveling Trump’s Toxic Agenda
The administration is on an insane fossil-fuel bender — hastening catastrophic climate change and gambling with our health
October 19, 2018 11:38AM ET
Nobody had high hopes for Trump’s environmental policy. He had, after all, said climate change was a hoax and sent out more than 100 skeptic tweets even before running for president. But the speed, recklessness and spite with which his administration has sought to upend environmental protections has been breathtaking. Climate change aside, even the common-sense need to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink is being challenged as the administration has unleashed a slew of regulatory rollbacks. And his science-denying, fossil-fuel-fetishising policies couldn’t come at a worse time — the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just published its most dire report yet, advising that if we don’t get to zero carbon emissions by 2050, we’ll blow past a 1.5 C temperature rise, the threshold for disaster.
Below, a list of Trump’s most reckless policies yet.
Gutting Fuel Standards
Donald Trump is promising every American a less-efficient car, so they can spend more money at the gas pump, breathe in more air pollution and cook the globe quicker with carbon emissions. “This is one of the single most damaging rollbacks attacking climate and clean-air safeguards in American history,” says Vickie Patton, general counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund. Standards set in 2012 by Barack Obama would have doubled gas mileage by 2025, but Trump is freezing those improvements (a decision even automakers like Ford and Honda have spoken out against). Plus, he’s trying to strip California of its legal right to set its own standards, which have historically functioned as a national benchmark. The administration’s own analysis of the rollback predicts the planet will warm a catastrophic 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, but argues not much can be done to stop it, so why bother trying. Controlling transportation emissions — the largest man-made source of carbon dioxide in the U.S. — would be a good start. According to the research firm Rhodium Group, this rollback could mean an annual carbon increase greater than the combined emissions of 82 percent of the countries on Earth.