Will Trump's Policies Help Climate Change 1
Trump's Interventions in the Environment: An Ongoing List
The turbulent first few months of the Trump administration brought about hectic changes in US environmental policy, both implemented and announced. Many of them reverse changes in Obama policy aimed at curbing climate change and reducing pollution. Others threaten federal funding for science and the environment.
There is a lot at stake. The Trump administration comes to power in the midst of the first days of international action against climate change - an issue on which political spirits remain divided. For the first time in years, Republicans are in control of both the White House and both houses of Congress. This gives them the opportunity to redesign the country's environmental legislation according to their ideas.
For a better overview, National Geographic will maintain an abbreviated list of environmental measures and changes of course by the Trump administration, including responses to the relevant policies. We will update this article regularly as new developments arise.
NOAA DISPENSES POLICY THAT PROTECT WHALES FROM PINNETS
June 13, 2017
The Trump administration this week ditched a policy that would have helped prevent whales and sea turtles from becoming entangled in fishing nets off the west coast of the United States. The directive proposed in 2015 would have banned swordfish fishing with gillnets for up to two years in certain circumstances. That would have happened if two whales or sea turtles of highly endangered species had been killed or seriously injured by the nets within a period of two years. The same consequences would have occurred if a combination of four individuals of the bottlenose dolphin and short-finned pilot whale had been injured or killed within two years.
However, this week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Department announced that this guideline was no longer necessary. The reason given was that other protective measures had already reduced the number of marine animals caught in gill nets. "Our more detailed analysis showed us that these strict fleet caps would likely add significant cost to the fleet without any great conservation benefit," said Michael Milstein, a spokesman for NOAA.
In the 1990s it was a common occurrence for animals to get entangled in the nets. But since 2012, only two gray whales have been killed or seriously injured, according to NOAA. The common dolphin is the marine mammal that is most likely to get tangled. However, the number of these animals that get caught annually has decreased from 200 since the early 1990s to fewer than 10 injured or killed in 2015.
A new network design has helped reduce such accidental deaths, according to NOAA. However, environmentalists say a more likely explanation for the decline in entangled animals is the significantly smaller number of fishermen in the waters. The swordfish fishing fleet has shrunk nearly 90 percent since the 1990s, from 141 to 20 boats in 2016. However, leatherback turtles, humpback whales and sperm whales are still perishing in set nets, a spokeswoman for the Center for Biodiversity told the Los Angeles Times.
MINISTRY OF THE HOME PROPOSES REDUCING THE BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Monday June 12, 2017
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Trump downsize the Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. He suggested that the numerous Native American artifacts and ruins housed in the monument - one of the largest such collections in the country - could be preserved in a much smaller area.
The details will be relayed to Trump later this summer, Zinke said, along with his review of 26 other national monuments.
In April, the president tasked Zinke with inspecting the country's major monuments. The controls are taking place as part of efforts to further develop and develop state land. Bears Ears was created by President Barack Obama last December. The appointment as a national monument was preceded by years of negotiations with state and tribal leaders. The memorial was singled out by Trump as an example of "massive state land robbery."
Supporters of the current Bears Ears borders expressed their disappointment with the procedure. But they also doubt that Trump's efforts to downsize bears ears would stand in court. Randi Spivak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Biodiversity, said the recommendation to downsize Bears Ears would go against the Antiquity Act. This enables presidents to shut down state land for the purpose of protection, so to speak.
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR REVIEWS PROTECTION OF THE COWLFICK
Thursday June 8, 2017
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered a review of an Obama administration's conservation plan to protect the mugwort on June 7th. It aims to determine whether this plan clashes with the Trump administration's efforts to increase energy production on state land. The Obama plan was proposed as an alternative to a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which would have declared the mugwort a protected species under the Endangered Species Act. The concept spanned five years of negotiations with 1,100 ranchers, environmental groups and federal agencies and was hailed as an unprecedented collaboration. As a result, the threat to the wormwood's habitat was reduced, while at the same time stricter regulatory interventions that might have hampered economic development were avoided. After the 2015 Community Conservation Plan was presented, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service insisted on listing the mugwort as endangered.
At the beginning of his 60-day audit, Zinke said, “The federal government has a responsibility under the Endangered Species Act to practice responsible wildlife management. But the destruction of local communities and the introduction of arduous regulations on public lands on which they depend is not a kind of good neighborhood. ”The paraphrase of the Obama plan could, however, extend beyond the term of office of President Trump under certain circumstances.
THE USA EXIT THE PARIS CLIMATE PROTECTION AGREEMENT
Thursday June 1, 2017
President Trump has announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate protection agreement. He is leaving a group of 194 other countries that have pledged to curb climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The news was announced just days after the G7 climate conference in Italy. There the six other member states - Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan and Great Britain - reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement concluded in 2015.
As part of the deal, the US agreed to cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, down to pre-2005 levels. By turning away from that commitment, the US is leaving the leadership in this area to other countries, first and foremost the nation with the highest emissions: China. Chinese President Xi Jinping is sticking to the deal, even in the face of the volatile US, calling it a "hard-won achievement" that should be honored. Even so, there is likely to be further progress in combating climate change in the US as the prices of wind and solar energy continue to fall and many companies support renewable energies.
TRUMP-ETAT REQUESTS STRONG CUTS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Tuesday May 23, 2017
The Trump budget for 2018, presented to Congress on Tuesday, calls for massive cuts in scientific research as well as a host of environmental programs that protect air and water. The budget proposal, called "A New Foundation for American Greatness," cuts EPA's budget by 31 percent - a bigger cut than any other agency. Those cuts could mean $ 2.7 billion less funding and the loss of 3,200 jobs, according to an analysis by the World Resources Institute. The budget proposal also cuts major programs to repair the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. It marks the end of the EPA's lead reduction and radon detection programs and cuts the budget for the Superfund program. The latter is dedicated to cleaning up some of the most polluted areas in the country and responds to disasters such as oil spills.
However, the budget proposal maintains state and city funding for drinking and wastewater programs. In addition, the Ministry of the Interior would see a budget cut of twelve percent and the Department of Energy a cut of six percent.
OBAMA'S METHANE REGULATION REMAINS LAND LAW
Wednesday May 10, 2017
In a surprise 51-49 loss, the Senate rejected a measure that would have repealed the Obama administration's methane emissions regulations. This ordinance, which the House of Representatives voted to cancel on February 3, limits the venting and flaring of natural gas from oil and gas facilities on US state administration properties. The Obama administration argued that these practices wasted billions of cubic meters of natural gas every year. This also poses a threat to the climate. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that can warm the planet 25 times more effectively than carbon dioxide.
EPA RELEASES SCIENCE ADVISORS
Friday 5th May 2017
The EPA environmental agency dismissed various members of its 18-strong scientific advisory board, which reviews the research of EPA scientists. Assurances were given to some of the fired academics that their three-year terms on the panel would be extended. In a May 7 article in the New York Times, critics sharply attacked this practice, describing it as a gift to business interests at the expense of science. A spokesman for the EPA said the decision would allow them to consider a more diverse pool of applicants - including industry representatives - for the panel.
In addition, the Washington Post reported on May 8 that Home Secretary Ryan Zinke has begun investigating more than 200 advisory boards and other agencies connected with the Home Office.
EPA PUMPS CLIMATE CHANGE WEBSITE
Friday April 28, 2017
The EPA has announced that it will review its web content on climate change. A first victim of this review was the agency's longtime website explaining climate change. On the new page is a notice that it will be updated "to reflect the priorities of the EPA under the leadership of President Trump and Head of Department Pruitt." On May 2, 2017, the EPA also deleted the Spanish-language version of its climate change website.
A REGULATION IS TO EXTEND OFFSHORE DRILLING
Friday April 28, 2017
President Trump has signed an executive order ordering a review of the bans on oil and gas drilling in parts of the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic. These Obama administration regulations, which are to be reviewed, also include a five-year master plan that excluded the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas of the Arctic Ocean. An attempt in December 2016 also included a permanent ban on drilling in large parts of the Arctic and the Atlantic. According to the NPR, the ordinance will also stop the designation or expansion of National Marine Protected Areas unless the Interior Ministry has estimated "energy or mineral resource potential". Conservation groups immediately announced their intention to defend Obama's December 2016 efforts in court.
TRUMP ORDERS REVIEW OF NATIONAL MONUMENTS
Wednesday April 26, 2017
Trump has hired his Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review up to 40 national monuments that have been created since 1996. His job is to determine if Trump's three predecessors have exceeded their authority by protecting large areas of public land under the Antiquities Act of 1996. The review targets monuments covering at least 160,000 acres and reaches back as far as Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The over 7,600 km² monument was founded in 1996 by President Bill Clinton despite great opposition.
SCIENTISTS MARCH IN WASHINGTON
Saturday April 22, 2017
On a drizzly Earth day, thousands of scientists and science enthusiasts marched through Washington, D.C., to the Capitol. The sign-carrying crowds - many dressed in lab coats or crocheted hats that looked like brains - protested the environmental and science policies of the Trump administration and expressed their support for the role of science in society. There were more than 600 March for Science events around the world, drawing tens of thousands of attendees.
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR DELETING CLIMATE CHANGE WEBSITE
Wednesday April 19, 2017
An employee of the Ministry of the Interior has updated the Ministry's website on climate change and deleted much of its content, such as "Motherboard" reports. On the page there is only one mention of "climate change". Nowhere is it explained what exactly the phenomenon is, how it affects the US, and what the Department is doing about it. The Ministry of the Interior has eight regional centers for climate science, which work under the direction of the federal authorities for raw material issues. They "help resource managers deal with a changing climate" can be read on their archived website.
PRUITT PROPOSES A WITHDRAWAL FROM CLIMATE PROTECTION AGREEMENTS
Friday April 14, 2017
In an interview with "Fox & Friends", the head of the EPA Scott Pruitt said that he is personally against the Paris climate protection agreement. Pruitt called the deal a "bad deal for America". However, according to the Washington Post, the Trump administration has not yet wanted to decide whether or not to withdraw from the agreement.
EPA ANNOUNCES "BACK TO ROOTS" AGENDA
Thursday April 13, 2017
With a coal mine in Pennsylvania in the background, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced a "back to the roots" agenda for the environmental agency. According to Pruitt, the agenda is "to protect the environment by requiring state, regional and tribal partners to create meaningful regulations that boost economic growth." The agenda also includes reviews of two key environmental regulations of the Obama administration: the Clean Power Plan for the Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the Clean Water Rule for water management. In addition, the backlog of new chemicals that are waiting for approval by the EPA should be worked off.
EMPLOYEES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE NEWLY DELEGATED
Friday 7th April 2017
News outlets report that various employees at EPO headquarters who specialize in adapting to climate change have been delegated to other offices. However, an environmental agency official said in an interview with The Hill that the agency's regional offices "have always been and will continue to take the lead in adaptation." An EPO official said in an interview with National Geographic that the staff - a total of four employees - will continue to work in the Office for Policies and Procedures and can apply their knowledge to a broader range of topics.
TRUMP DONATES TO NATIONAL PARKS
Monday 3rd April 2017
The White House announced that President Trump has donated the first quarter of his salary ($ 78,333.32) to the National Park Service. The donation is reportedly intended to reduce the maintenance backlog on the country's battlefields, estimated at $ 100 million to $ 230 million. (The National Park Service currently has a general maintenance backlog of an estimated $ 12 billion.) Trump's draft budget for 2018 includes a $ 1.5 billion cut for the Home Office. This also includes the National Park Service with its $ 3.4 billion budget. The twelve percent cut would cut funding for unspecified National Heritage Areas - inhabited areas that enjoy special protection from the point of view of monument preservation. Various National Heritage Areas include preserved battlefields.
SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY OFFICE REVIEWS PRUITT
Friday March 31, 2017
In response to a March 9 interview with CNBC, Scott Pruitt was referred from the Inspector General's office to the Scientific Integrity Bureau for review. In the interview in question, Pruitt downplayed the central role carbon dioxide emissions played in climate change. Such a position contradicts the scientific consensus. An EPA spokesman has defended Pruitt, saying that it is up to the head of the agency to have a dissenting opinion. On April 6, 2017, the Inspector General's office stated that the review would not take place in any set time frame.
EPA SCIENTIST RETIRES WITH ONE BLOCK
Friday March 31, 2017
An EPO environmental scientist named Michael Cox is retiring after more than 25 years with the agency - with a farewell burn letter to the agency's administrative director, Scott Pruitt. In the letter, which received a lot of media attention, he attacks the Trump administration for "working to dismantle the EPA and its employees as quickly as possible."
NO TOTAL BAN ON PESTICIDE
Wednesday March 29, 2017
Contrary to the recommendation of the chemical safety experts at the EPA, the head of the agency, Scott Pruitt, has rejected a decades-old petition. In this, the EPA was asked to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos. In 2000 the EPA had already banned its use in most household settings, but 40,000 farms are still using it. EPA scientists recommended that this operation be stopped. Research suggests that chlorpyrifos may be linked to brain damage in children and farm workers, even with low levels of exposure. However, the manufacturer of the chemical claims it would be safe if handled correctly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture welcomes Pruitt's decision and says it will help farmers.
CLIMATE PROTECTION MEASURES CANCELED
Tuesday March 28, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order that will undo much of the work the Obama administration has done to combat climate change. The ordinance takes steps to downplay the future cost of carbon emissions, diminishes government efforts to track carbon emissions, and repeals a halt to coal mining leases on state land. It also repeals Obama administration ordinances and measures designed to prepare the country for the worst effects of climate change, including threats to national security.
DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE IS PREPARED FOR USE
Monday March 27, 2017
Veterans and tribal leaders march on Highway 1806 in Cannon Ball, Dakota despite wind and heavy snow. They support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Energy Transfer Partners - the company that is building the Dakota Access Pipeline - has informed a federal court that it has pumped oil into the pipeline that runs under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The pipeline, which will connect North Dakota's oil fields with the pipeline networks in Illinois, runs near the Standing Rock Reservation. Its construction has sparked protests over its potential to contaminate the water and destroy a sacred tribal site. The protest movement grew to become the largest Native American protest in recent history
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE APPROVED
Friday March 24, 2017
The Trump administration has given approval to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The more than 1,900 km long pipeline will connect the oil sands of Alberta with the refineries in Texas. President Obama rejected the project in late 2015. There were concerns that the economic benefits of the pipeline were being grossly exaggerated. It was also feared that it would worsen future carbon emissions. In 2014, the US State Department determined that the project would increase emissions, but no more than other transportation methods.
US-HUMMEL OFFICIALLY CLASSIFIED HIGHLY ENDANGERED
Tuesday March 21, 2017
The bumblebee species Bombus affinis was officially classified as endangered, making it the first bumblebee (and the eighth species of bee) to be protected by the state.
FUNDING FOR FLINT CONTINUES
Friday 17th March 2017
The EPA released a news bulletin that the agency has awarded $ 100 million to Michigan's Environmental Quality Agency. The money was provided through a law that President Obama signed in December 2016. This will improve the drinking water infrastructure in Flint, Michigan, where the drinking water is still contaminated with lead.
FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS ARE REVIEWED
Wednesday March 15, 2017
The EPA's chief environmental officer, Scott Pruitt, and the U.S. Secretary for Transportation, Elaine Chao, have announced that the EPA will reconsider the requirements for vehicles built between 2022 and 2025. This move could mean a repeal of the regulations Obama has introduced to make cars more fuel efficient. According to these regulations, cars and vans must have an average fuel consumption of around 4.3 l per 100 km by 2025. The Trump administration and automakers have argued that this goal is not achievable.
BUDGET FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT AT RISK
Monday March 13, 2017
The White House has released its first preliminary budget under Trump. After weeks of speculation, the budget confirms the deep cuts in the authorities for science and the environment, especially the EPA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). In addition, numerous social programs are being cut to increase defense spending by $ 54 billion. Almost immediately, opposition to the budget arose in Congress and the general public.
EPA HEAD DOWN CLIMATE CHANGE
Thursday March 9, 2017
Environment chief Scott Pruitt said in an interview with CNBC that the role of carbon dioxide emissions in climate change remains unclear. This is in stark contrast to the scientific consensus. Scientists from the United States and other nations have repeatedly linked rising levels of CO2 to global climate change. According to a 2014 report by the US National Science Academy, the recognized advisory body observed that global warming since 1970 "is primarily a result of increased levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases."
Tuesday March 7, 2017
The New Republic reports that the EPA's Science and Technology Bureau has removed the word “science” from its mission statement. Instead, the new formulation emphasizes "economically and technologically achievable performance standards". This is the most recent of the changes to the website under Trump, which is increasingly belittling the Obama administration's climate initiatives.
REQUEST FOR ISSUE INFORMATION WITHDRAWN
Thursday March 2, 2017
The EPA withdrew an Obama-era request that requested more detailed information on oil and natural gas facilities. The request was aimed at better tracking industrial emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds. (The oil and gas facilities are the largest industrial producers of methane emissions.) The Trump EPA has criticized the project for costing the oil and gas industry $ 42 million.
NO LEADING OF THE COUNTRIES
Thursday March 2, 2017
On his first day at work, after riding to work, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lifted an Obama-era ban banning the use of lead ammunition in state lands and waters. The National Rifle Association and hunting groups welcome Zinc's actions in support of the economic contribution that hunting makes to the country. Meanwhile, conservation groups denounce this fact, as lead ammunition can poison wild animals and plants.
SCOTT PRUITT CONFIRMED AS HEAD OF EPA
Friday 17th February 2017
The US Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA. The former Oklahoma attorney general has regularly sued the EPA over its regulations. Emails released a few days after Pruitt's confirmation show that he had cozy relationships with oil and gas companies while serving as attorney general.
RIVERS RELEASED FOR MINING WASTE
Thursday February 16, 2017
President Trump signed a joint resolution that repealed the Home Office's Stream Protection Rule. This regulation put stricter restrictions on the dumping of spoil into surrounding rivers. Republicans in Congress called the scheme redundant and onerous.
FOSSIL FUELS BECOME CHEF DIPLOMATS
Wednesday February 1, 2017
The US Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, as the new Secretary of State. Tillerson's far-reaching relationship with the fossil fuel industry - and his hard-to-define stance on climate science - has sparked fierce opposition from environmentalists as a result of his nomination.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE TAKES SHAPE
Wednesday 25th January 2017
After the news that Trump has had all references to climate change removed from the White House website, voices are rising after a “scientists march on Washington”. The plans for the March for Science are picking up speed. The protest march - which is based on the record action of the Women Marchs March of January 21st - has been announced for April 22nd.
GREEN LIGHT FOR PIPELINES
Tuesday January 24, 2017
President Trump has issued several letters of intent to expedite the approvals for the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Trump has also asked the Department of Commerce to come up with a plan that will allow the pipelines in the United States to be built from American steel. However, subsequent reports make it clear that the MOU does not apply to the Keystone XL pipeline.
PARK SERVICE #RESISTS
Friday 20th January 2017
Trump was sworn in as president. Minutes later, the National Park Service posted a photo on Twitter comparing the crowd at Trump's swearing-in ceremony with the significantly larger crowd at Obama's 2009 swearing-in ceremony. Trump's subsequent criticism from the National Park Service sparked an unofficial wave of opposition from social media accounts. They claim that they are run by US government employees who often use the hashtag #resist.defend yourselves") Post.
Saturday 10th December 2016
Fearing that the new Trump administration might try to delete or relocate American databases with climate data, the climate journalist Eric Holthaus acted: On Twitter, he asked for suggestions as to which important databases should be backed up. His request sparked a movement in the academic world. Important databases were backed up and the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative was born.
Tuesday November 8, 2016
Donald Trump wins the 2016 US presidential election. His victory is the result of a month-long campaign that has done little to address environmental issues. On the other hand, she criticized the Obama administration's climate policy and advocated the American fossil fuel industry.
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