Today President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that continues the fledgling administration’s merry march towards destroying the Obama administration’s efforts to protect the environment. Today’s order will curtail regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases emissions. According to the Washington Post:
President Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.
The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.
The order sends an unmistakable signal that just as President Barack Obama sought to weave climate considerations into every aspect of the federal government, Trump is hoping to rip that approach out by its roots.
The administration’s justification for gutting measures aimed at reducing the rate of global warming is that the rapidly-shrinking U.S. coal industry will magically rejuvenate itself and save coal mining jobs, one of Trump’s oft-repeated promises during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Trump claims that pro-environment regulations are the reason coal mines now only employ about 75,000 Americans, with more job cuts in the industry coming.
Like most of the detritus that comes flying out of the Orange One’s weirdly-shaped mouth, this is a demonstrable lie. There are two actual reasons coal miners’ jobs are going away: mechanization of mining that reduces the need for laborers and an abundance of domestic natural gas that is cheaper and cleaner to burn than coal. There is no evidence that Obama’s environmental initiatives have contributed to the decline in coal industry employment.
Trump’s action today has nothing to do with jobs. It has more to do with Trump being an unsophisticated stooge of the corporate elites who want to get the federal government out of the business of policing companies that pollute the environment. In an unusually not-terrible column this weekend, perennial misogynist hack Maureen Dowd had this non-stupid thing to say to President Trump:
You know how you said at campaign rallies that you did not like being identified as a politician?
Don’t worry. No one will ever mistake you for a politician.
After this past week, they won’t even mistake you for a top-notch negotiator.
I was born here. The first image in my memory bank is the Capitol, all lit up at night. And my primary observation about Washington is this: Unless you’re careful, you end up turning into what you started out scorning.
And you, Donald, are getting a reputation as a sucker. And worse, a sucker who is a tool of the D.C. establishment.
That is exactly right. Trump is like Jethro Bodine who just rode into Washington from the hills of Kentucky, ripe for the plucking by the powerful and sophisticated elites who run the place. Trump may think he is running things, but all indications are that he is an unwitting tool of the powerful interests who fight for lower taxes on the rich and less regulation of businesses.
He’s just too stupid to know it.
This, of course, is just the latest Trump action designed to please rich polluters. He installed Scott Pruitt, a known climate change denier, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He has proposed slashing billions from the EPA’s budget. He has approved construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, ignoring the protests of environmentalists and landowners, as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is also opposed by Native American groups whose land will be disrupted by the project.
Donald Trump is not a man of the people, as he claims. He is a man of the Koch brothers.