What Does Trump Know About the Environment
"They say don't use hairspray, it's bad for the ozone. So I'm sitting in this concealed apartment… I don't think anything gets out." President Trump has some… ideas about the environment.
The Trump administration has repeatedly expressed skepticism toward climate change
Just how much does President Trump know about the environment? The Trump administration revealed its proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s program to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from remaining power plants. A coalition of 29 states and cities filed a lawsuit to block the rule, claiming that it violates Trump’s obligations under the Clean Air Act. Nonpartisan research firm Resources for the Future, along with researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Syracuse University, and the Boston University School of Public Health, released new research showing that even Environmental Protection Agency’s meager projected pollution reductions from its rule are likely overestimated.
The president’s plan is the bare minimum the EPA thinks it can get away with. It is likely to increase both carbon dioxide and local air pollutants, along with their health impacts, in more than a dozen states according to an article in National Geographic. Plus, the EPA is going to have a hard time justifying it to a court. Most coverage so far has focused on the plan’s striking weakness, but there are several other aspects of the fight over power plant emissions that are worth understanding. How these policy and legal questions get resolved will have enormous influence on what the next administration can do to address climate change.
The Trump administration has repeatedly expressed skepticism toward climate change, an opposition front toward regulation, and an all-consuming hatred for anything with former President Barack Obama’s prints on it. If it had its preferences, it wouldn’t regulate carbon emissions at all. But it has to. In 2007’s Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled that if the EPA finds that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health, it must regulate them as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. In 2009’s Endangerment Finding, the EPA found that, yes, greenhouse gases are a danger to public health.
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