Since he has taken power, President Donald Trump has been performing his best impression of a comic book supervillain, and his next move will be of terrible consequence to the environment. Trump is seeking to rollback policies put in place by former President Barack Obama to protect the climate and the water which we drink.
Trump intends to implement his destructive agenda via executive order, the use of which Republicans were vehemently against a few months ago during Obama’s presidency. Now the entire Republican establishment has suddenly fallen silent as Trump rules by diktat.
The first executive order will force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin the process of rewriting a regulation which was put in place in 2015 that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from electric utilities, removing those limits. Furthermore, Trump will remove a ban on the federal government leasing land for coal mining.
In Trump’s America, greenhouse-gas emissions are wonderful, and the more that billow out into the sky, the better the entirety of society shall be. In this same vein of thinking, extracting more coal from the ground will ensure there is a steady supply of material to create further environmental calamity. Who needs clean air to breathe when there is money to be made? One must have their priorities in order, after all.
The second executive order by Trump orders the Army Corps of Engineers to change the “Waters of the United States” rule which impacts around 60 percent all the water in the United States. The rule was partly the cause of the Clean Water Act of 1972 that grants the Federal government rights over all bodies of water in the United States. Trump has already proved himself to be an enemy of clean drinking water, as in the first days of his administration he signed an executive order that allowed coal operations to dump their sewage directly into surrounding bodies of water.
To his credit, Trump taking these actions is fulfilling a campaign promise, and his supporters cheer him for it. However stupid they may be, Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail. One wonders if his supporters have a strategy in mind for when the drinking water in the United States becomes too toxic for human consumption, or what they plan to do once the air becomes unbreathable?
It certainly appears, at least through the lens of rationality, that these individuals and Trump himself have not considered the long-term implications of what they are doing in the name of capturing a petty short-term profit — much to the peril of us all.
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