President Trump vs. the environment
March 16, 2017
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Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines green lit: On Jan. 24, 2017, President Trump began enacting his environmental plans by signing three executive orders to remove former President Barack Obama’s environmental protections. Trump reinstated the Dakota Access Pipeline, claiming it is 90 percent complete. Trump also reinstated the Keystone Pipeline which fast-tracked approval within 60 days.
Reversing Methane Restrictions: The House voted to repeal an Interior Department methane rule, which forced companies to curb the release of the harmful greenhouse gas on federal lands due to oil and gas drilling. The Times expects the Senate to approve the repeal as well.
Repealing the “Stream Protection Rule”: Trump repealed a bill aimed at preventing mining companies from dumping debris through a process called mountaintop removal mining (in which mountaintops are blown up in order to extract underground coal) into valleys and streams nearby. According to the Times, 6,000 miles of streams and an estimated 52,000 acres of forests were previously protected under the rule and will now be at risk.
Repealing a Transparency Rule for oil companies: President Trump’s repeal of the Transparency Rule for oil companies will, according The Hill, remove the mandate for oil, gas and mining companies to disclose financial information regarding payments to foreign governments. This legislation was designed to protect against corruption from resource-rich countries, but simultaneously made it difficult for American companies to compete with foreign countries who did not have to follow regulations. This repeal of the Transparency Rule set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a huge win for big business.
Formal EPA rules will take more time to revise and dismantle: Trump’s Clean Power Plan is set to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, cleaning up the pollution.
EPA Budget Reductions: President Trump has planned to cut $513 million in states and tribal assistance grants, $193 million in savings from terminating climate programs and $109 million in savings from environment programs and management.