Almost 100 days into Trump’s tenure, the fears of environmentalists, scientists, public health advocates have been confirmed — and then some.
Before he’d even been sworn in, Trump nominated several climate deniers chummy with the fossil fuel industry to his cabinet, including former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the head of the Department of Energy and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency ― a man who had sued the agency 14 times over industry regulations. Pruitt recently claimed, in contradiction to overwhelming scientific consensus, that human activity ― i.e. the burning of fossil fuels ― is not definitively the primary contributor to climate change.
On the day Trump took office, a page devoted to climate change action on the White House website disappeared. Four days later, Trump signed executive orders reviving the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, a move that set the tone for a series of swift and sweeping changes to the nation’s climate and environmental policies that were soon to follow.
Dismantling environmental protections is one area where Trump has made quick work. “Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess,” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ David Horsey earlier this month. “But his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.”