The Trump Administration has shown time and again that it does not take damage being done to the environment seriously.

They have consistently put the short term profit of corporations above concern for the air we breathe and water we drink. Their agenda, putting regulatory rollbacks ahead of environmental protections will have long term costs to North Carolina and the country.

 Some examples Of their Deregulatory agenda of include:

  1. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must weigh the costs to industry of an environmental regulation. So now, the Trump EPA has proposed that "co-benefits"--positive health effects that come from reducing pollutants other than those being targeted--would be excluded from the cost-benefit analysis. For instance, reducing mercury emissions, calculated only for children exposed to recreationally caught freshwater fish, would produce $4 to $6 million annually in public health benefits. But under this new policy, if adopted, co-benefits like the reduction of 11,000 annual premature deaths, saving from $37- $90 billion in annual health costs, would be excluded. This could set a precedent for future public health rules and make it much more difficult to justify environmental regulations in many cases. 

  2. In 2018, the Dept. of Interior introduced a new Methane Rule which would rescind various requirements regarding waste-minimization plans, gas-capture percentages, well drilling, and other mechanisms that would reduce pollution. It reinstated regulations from the 1970s and will likely delay the detection and repair of natural gas leaks and increase methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas that exacerbates climate change. 

  3. The Clean Power Plan, regulations meant to reduce carbon emissions from the electric generation sector was finalized in 2015. In March of 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the CPP. In an October 9, 2017, speech to coal miners in Kentucky, then EPA administrator Scott Pruitt declared "the war against coal over," announcing that the EPA would soon begin the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP). In August 2018, the Administration proposed the Affordable Clean Energy rule, a much weaker policy.

  4. In 2016 the Stream Protection Rule was adopted, which required that land within 100 feet of a stream could not be disturbed by surface mining activities, including the dumping of mining waste. In January of 2017, Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval to nullify the rule under the Congressional Review Act. The resolution, passed both the House and the Senate and on February 16, 2017, and signed by President Trump, nullifying the rule. 

 The Environment

Climate change is a pressing concern and one we hear discussed often.

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The Federal Government needs to change the way it approaches the climate problem. we Need to protect natural resources while continuing to grow the economy. This is not a one or the other proposition.

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The Trump administration - fully supported and enabled by the Republican party - has consistently and methodically stripped away environmental regulations

I could – really! – go on for pages. The Trump administration - fully supported and enabled by the Republican party - has consistently and methodically stripped away environmental regulations that protect the air, the soil, the water, and even the very creatures that inhabit this great country in the interest of corporations bottom lines, all while denying the reality of climate change caused by human behaviors. 

President Trump, by announcing the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate accords has abdicated our role as environmental leaders in the world to other nations.

Republicans say that a clean and safe environment and strong economy is a dichotomy. I refuse to believe that. The Federal Government needs to change the way it approaches the climate problem and do so in a way that we protect natural resources while continuing to grow the economy. This is not a one or the other proposition.

We must change paths immediately, rejoin the global community in addressing pressing environmental concerns. Protect our air and water, and begin the difficult task of moving our nation – with urgency - toward clean sources of energy, thus making us less dependent on foreign dirty fuels.

This challenge must be met, and in doing so, we must ensure a just transition that affords all Americans access to affordable, reliable energy.