On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, President Trump signed yet another of his already nineteen executive orders since taking office. Unfortunately following through on his campaign promise, the order proposes an estimated 31% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in addition to a general roll back of Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
Former EPA Chief under the Obama administration, Gina McCarthy was quoted calling Trump’s order, “dangerous and embarrassing.” Study after study shows strong correlation between pollution and chronic illnesses such as lung cancer, heart disease, asthma attacks, and more, not to mention the actual environmental effect. Obama’s plan, estimated to cut emissions by 32% come 2020, would aid in preventing a great number of these conditions.
But Trump wants to take all of that away.
“I think the President was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that,” Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, confirmed in a statement. That’s an interesting statement considering 70% of Americans both believe in and care about climate change issues.
Even with state and business leaders alike recognize that clean and renewable energy is the future, the lack of unity on the federal front causes a less effective set of actions on a smaller scale. With the rate the temperatures are rising, there isn’t exactly time for feet-dragging and unnecessary disagreements.
Some have argued that, even with the executive order, Trump’s path to dismantling Obama’s work will be no easy feat. While partially true as each move will likely be met with a fierce legal battle and public push-back, any delay in progress is still bad news for our planet.
The Paris deal, still in place for now at least, was established with the primary objective to keep the global temperature from rising more than 3.6 degrees, which would essentially guarantee the earth a future of extreme weather and severe consequences.
The Clean Power Plan was a key component to America’s personal contribution to cut emissions by an estimated 26% leading up to 2025. Trump’s attempts to wipe it all under the guise of jobs and economic growth not only shows his lack of concern for America’s role in global issues, but his inability to promote the long-term health of this country and its citizens over his current desire for popularity.
Hopefully a large enough majority of citizens live in reality, where the foundations of science are accepted, to combat any negative proposed changes each step of the way.