Sunday, President Trump’s press office in D.C. – while he was twitting in Florida – issued his Earth Day proclamation beginning:
“Today our Nation commemorates Earth Day, a celebration of the blessings given to us by our Creator. Among them, we cherish our magnificent land and waterways, abundant natural resources, and unique wildlife. As a Nation, it is our duty to recognize the importance of these life-sustaining gifts, and it is our responsibility to protect them for our own benefit and that of generations to come.”
Gosh, what wonderful rhetoric – with no actions to support it.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune notes:
“Trump’s been in office a little over a year. Here are just a few of the widespread attacks his administration has made on the environment: Started the selloff of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling; Auctioned off our public lands on the Internet; Moved to open more massive swaths of priceless public lands to fracking and drilling; Approved Keystone XL; Announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord; Repealed a ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
“And that just scratches the surface of what they’ve done. We’re witnessing the greatest assault ever on our environment — and on the vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by climate change, toxins, and pollution.”
Our Grifter-in-Chief modifies (and misrepresents) his initial praise of nature with an illogical trope that, “We also know that a strong, market-driven economy is essential to protecting these resources. For this reason, my Administration is dedicated to removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth and make it more difficult for local communities to prosper and to choose the best solutions for their environment.”
Yes, pollution is good for preserving pristine nature; just like slaughtering endangered African animals is key to their species’ survival.
Trump’s press release — speaking in full sentences and not burps and hiccups – claims, “Already, we are making great economic progress in concert with – not in opposition to – protecting our environment.” And, his main man for this task is Oklahoman Scott Pruitt, whose sabotage of the Environmental Protection Agency is only matched by the governmental and corporate perks he uses his official position to amass.
As Mr. Brune notes, “(He) has perverted the Environmental Protection Agency’s mission with a radical agenda to undermine not only the agency itself but also more than half a century of bipartisan environmental progress in this country…. “He has betrayed the EPA’s historic mission, with aggressive attempts to undermine air and water safeguards, muzzle the voices of scientists, and cut sweetheart deals for polluters.
”During his first year, Pruitt has taken action to rescind or ‘reconsider’ protections from fugitive methane emissions, air pollution from heavy trucks, and toxic coal ash waste — typically after meeting with the polluters who would benefit. He wants to weaken already-approved clean car standards and has rejected the Clean Power Plan (not to mention established science on climate change) out of hand.
“One of Pruitt’s most shocking and callous decisions concerned chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that can cause brain damage in children and is so dangerous that in 2000 the EPA advised banning it. But in a pattern that he’s followed repeatedly, Pruitt rejected both basic science and the advice of his predecessors. He ignored calls from families, health professionals, and scientists. He listened instead to campaign donors who profit from toxic chemicals and chose to reverse a pending ban on chlorpyrifos.
“This pattern has been consistent throughout Scott Pruitt’s career. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued to block the EPA’s mercury and air toxics standards. His rationale? Maybe mercury isn’t all that dangerous…. Pruitt has delayed these same standards, which would protect all Americans by limiting the amount of toxins that power plants can dump into our waterways. It’s estimated that, if fully enforced, these protections would prevent 11,000 premature deaths and save taxpayers roughly $90 billion in healthcare costs annually.”
Gosh, but the president’s Earth Day message says, “We know that it is impossible for humans to flourish without clean air, land and Americans embrace the idea of enjoying nature in a responsible fashion, while preserving the blessings of the land for future generations. My Administration is committed to furthering this rich legacy of conservation.”
Liars gonna lie.
(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)