Let’s review Donald Trump’s environmental record:
- Pulled out of the Paris Accord.
- Has worked hard to repeal the Clean Power Plan.
- Tried to massively expand offshore oil drilling.
- Repealed higher mileage standards for cars and trucks.
- Proposed massive budget cuts for the EPA.
- Revoked California’s waiver to adopt stricter air quality standards.
- Slashed the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments put in place by President Obama.
- Nominated a former coal lobbyist to head the EPA.
- Has proposed a huge reduction in the number of waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.
- Signed a bill to open up ANWR to oil drilling.
- Has done everything humanly possible to promote coal use.
- Proposed eliminating the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, designed to help clean up the Great Lakes.
- Proposed rolling back plans to reduce methane leaks.
I’m sure there’s more, but I think those are the highlights. Apparently someone told Trump that this isn’t playing well among suburban moms or something, so today he gave a long, rambling speech about the world historical greatness of his environmental stewardship. You can read about it here.
I don’t have the patience to listen to what’s apparently just more of Trump’s usual inventions and lies—Rebecca Leber has us covered on that front—thanks Rebecca!—but I was amused to carefully read through the White House fact sheet on Trump’s environmental leadership. I say “carefully” because it is, literally, less than 500 words long—and that includes a boast that the US has increased its oil and natural gas production. I am not lying to you here. This is an actual statement in a fact sheet about how Trump has been good for the environment.
But that’s not surprising once you read through the whole thing and realize that even the spinmeisters at the White House couldn’t figure out anything to say. They note that air and water quality has improved since 1970—which has nothing to do with Trump. They say that CO2 emissions might decline next year—which, if it happens, would be solely due to favorable weather. They enthuse over the fact that Trump has maintained the operation of three or four specific EPA programs—all of which were started by other people years ago and have been running for decades. They brag that Trump signed a bill to create 1.3 million new acres of wilderness—a bill that he was forced to sign because it was passed by veto-proof majorities. They claim that Trump “took action” to improve forest management—apparently referring to a recent proposal to reduce oversight for industry projects on federal land. And, finally, they say that Trump has proposed opening up new areas for hunting and fishing.
That last sentence is actually true, and it’s actually something Trump has done. It doesn’t really do anything to improve the environment, and it affects way less than the million acres they claim, but hey—at least it’s sort of based in reality. In Trumpland that counts as pretty nearly the truth.