Breaking down Trump’s environmental policy


A tweet written by President Trump in November.

Sarah Martell, Photo Editor

President Donald Trump came into office with plans for immigration, the economy and national security, but his policies will also have a direct effect on the environment.

Trump’s “An America First Energy Plan,” his environmental policy,  is focused more on reviving the oil and coal industry rather than protecting the environment itself.

The plan pledges to eliminate two policies created by Barack Obama: the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. The Climate Action Plan was Obama’s proposal to reduce carbon-dioxide emission, increase the study of climate change, use alternative fuels and preserve forests. The Waters of the U.S. rule, another proposal made by Obama, put select water sources under the authority of Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers.

Within Trump’s first month in office, he approved the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will transport oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and gave approval for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,200 mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois that would run through burial sites and spiritual camps of the Standing Sioux Rock tribe.

According to National Geographic magazine, the Keystone pipeline will create greater emissions of greenhouse gasses over time that contribute to global warming. The pipeline will also endanger wildlife in the area of construction and threaten the drinking water in the surrounding communities. This project was put on hold during Obama’s term.

As for the EPA, Trump plans to defund the agency of over $800 millions through budget cuts. Making such drastic cuts is predicted to set back 50 years of improving  air and water quality as well as safety from disease causing chemicals, as Ken Kimmell, president of The Union of Concerned Scientists, stated on In order for the EPA to protect air and water, the agency would also have to combat climate change, which is not found in any of Trump’s policies. The EPA would also lose its authority to enforce environmental laws that protect U.S. citizens  and regulations of pollution.

In addition, Trump picked Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA 13 time since 2011 over climate change, to be the new EPA administrator. Recently thousands of Pruitt’s emails were released revealing his close ties with oil and gas production company, Devon Energy, and other fossil fuels industries. These emails showed his close relationship to Devon Energy and their exchange of information and helpful insight.

Before his inauguration, Trump  stated several times and and even tweeted that climate change is a man-made hoax and believes that the government doesn’t need to focus on it.

Within the first 100 days of his presidency, he has also said he plans to cut funding for climate change research and clean energy. He will also permit Russian oil drilling off of the Alaskan coast, repeal renewable fuel standard and ethanol mandate, lift restrictions for oil drilling on Federal land and undo the endangered species act.