A Jaw-Dropping List of All the Terrible Things Trump Has Done to Mother Earth
Timeline of the rollbacks
- 14 February Trump signs a bill repealing an anti-corruption rule
that required energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. The
regulation was scrapped under the Congressional Review Act.
- 16 February The stream protection rule, which prevented mining
companies dumping their waste into streams, is axed under the Congressional
Review Act. Trump calls it a “terrible job-killing rule.”
- 28 February Trump instructs the EPA to rewrite the ‘waters of the
United States’ rule, which expanded the definition of the Clean Water Act to
protect the water supply for around 117 million Americans. Many farmers, real
estate developers and golf course owners opposed the rule.
- 2 March On 1 March, governors and attorneys general from
several Republican-led states write to
Scott Pruitt to request the EPA stop collecting methane emissions data from
around 15,000 oil and gas operations. A day later, Pruitt says he has decided
to oblige “after hearing from industry.”
- 15 March Trump announces a review of vehicle fuel efficiency
standards that are designed to push down greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
More than a dozen car company chief executives asked the president to revisit
an Obama-era decision to mandate improved fuel economy by 2025. Pruitt calls
the standards “costly for automakers and the American people.”
- 28 March A sweeping executive order penned by Trump orders a rewrite of the EPA’s clean power plan, which
was Obama’s centerpiece climate policy, an end to the moratorium on coal mining
on public land and the removal of climate change as a consideration when
approving federal projects.
- 29 March Pruitt denies a bid to
halt the use of chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide. The chemical has been
linked to damage to the nervous system and last year EPA scientists said a ban
was warranted. Household use of the chemical was phased out a decade ago but it
is still used in farms across the US.
- 11 April A court grants an EPA request to delay the
implementation of ozone pollution standards that were made stricter in 2015.
The EPA intends to review the rules around ozone, which is created when
sunlight reacts with pollutants from vehicles exhausts and other sources. Ozone
can create smogs and can trigger a raft of health ailments, especially among
children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems.
- 13 April The EPA pauses a regulation that curbs the dumping of
toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury by power plants into public waterways.
The Obama-era rule, set to commence in 2018, would’ve destroyed jobs, according
- 27 April The EPA successfully convinces a US appeals court to halt a challenge by states and
industry groups to an Obama administration rule aimed at reducing toxic
emissions from power stations. Pruitt, in his previous role as attorney general
of Oklahoma, had sued the EPA to stop the rule, which is known as MATS.
- 23 May A three-month pause is put on landfill methane rules
so they EPA can “reconsider certain aspects” of the regulation. Methane is a
powerful greenhouse gas and is emitted from rotting garbage in landfills, as
well as other sources such as agriculture.
- 13 June The EPA announces plans for a two-year pause on regulations that would reduce emissions leaks from oil and gas
operators. The regulator acknowledges that pollution from the leaks results in
“disproportionate” harm to children but proposes to go ahead with the
suspension of the rule anyway.
- 27 June The EPA, along with the US army, proposes to scrap the clean water rule. This would reverse an Obama-era move that expanded federal
government protections to the drinking water of around a third of all
Americans. Pruitt said the rollback will provide “regulatory certainty to our
nation’s farmers and businesses.” The announcement didn’t reference public