The United States President has been rolling back several policies that were intended to protect the environment.
Over the past four years, United States President Donald Trump has been committed to making sure he kills our environment. More than anything, he has been determined to erase policies (from the Obama era and otherwise) that protect us from making global warming and climate change even worse than they already are. We thought it was bad when he dropped out of the Paris agreement but little did we know that things were only downhill from there. In an article published by The New York Times, analysts surveyed research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and other sources. They discovered that the President had already reversed more than 60 environmental rules and regulations, while another 34 rollbacks are currently in the pipeline.
The biggest bulk of these rollbacks was completed by the Environmental Protection Agency (oh, the irony). Reportedly, the agency which repealed and then replaced all Obama-era rules regarding emissions from power plants and vehicles, loosened protections for over half of the nation's wetlands and removed the legal justification for restricting mercury emissions from power plants. The United States Department of the Interior has also played a role. They have, over the past four years, opened up significant amounts of land for oil and gas leasing by cutting down on the number of protected areas and limiting wildlife protections.
A spokeswoman for the EPA explained in a statement, "Over the past three years, we have fulfilled President Trump’s promises to provide certainty for states, tribes, and local governments. [The agency was] delivering on President Trump’s commitment to return the agency to its core mission: Providing cleaner air, water, and land to the American people." However, the federal government's actions speak otherwise. As per environmental activist groups, Trump is yet to achieve those goals. While the rollbacks were not adequately justified on paper, which makes them vulnerable to legal challenge, reinstating a repealed law is a tedious and time-consuming task. The New York Times was only able to identify 10 laws that faced lawsuits or other challenges in court by states and environmental groups; fighting all of the rollbacks may not be feasible.
Even if President Trump does not win another election, several laws that are currently under the process of litigation could remain mired in court beyond November, presenting another challenge to environmental advocacy groups. Among the various rollbacks, the President has loosened drilling and extractions laws, regulations on emissions, and policies that would have protected wildlife. Experts believe that his lax attitude towards the environment could result in a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions and lead to thousands of extra deaths from poor air quality every single year. If we do not protect the environment from Trump's oily, greedy hands now, it may be too late.