Environmental policy of the Donald Trump administration
The environmental policy of the Donald Trump administration represents a shift from the policy priorities and goals of his predecessor, Barack Obama. While Obama's environmental agenda prioritized the reduction of carbon emissions through the use of clean renewable energy, the Trump administration has sought to increase fossil fuel use and scrap many environmental regulations which he has referred to as impediments to business. In July 2018, amid numerous ethics investigations, Trump's first appointment for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruit, resigned and he was replaced by Andrew Wheeler.
Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord. Immediately upon his inauguration, the White House released an "America First Energy Plan", which focused on increasing combustion of fossil fuels without mentioning renewable energy. The plan would repeal many Obama policies including the Climate Action Plan, and limit the EPA's mission of protecting air and water quality. In April 2018, Pruitt announced plans to undo the Obama administration's auto fuel efficiency and emissions standards.
Trump campaigned on a pledge to roll back government regulations, and within days of taking office he signed executive orders to approve two controversial oil pipelines and to require federal review of the Clean Water Rule and the Clean Power Plan. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and has announced plans to open up more federal land for energy development. Trump's Department of the Interior has announced plans to allow drilling in nearly all U.S. waters, the largest expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing ever proposed. The administration has been charged with re-writing EPA pollution- control policies of chemicals that are known to be serious health risks to make them more friendly to the chemical industry. A 2018 analysis reported that the Trump administration's rollbacks and proposed reversals of environmental rules would likely "cost the lives of over 80,000 US residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people."
Responding to a 2018 government-funded study which warned of potentially catastrophic climate change impacts, Trump said he had read part of the report but did not believe it.  Neither Trump nor the department heads he has appointed believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. His appointments to key agencies dealing in energy and environmental policy reflect his commitment to deregulation, particularly of the fossil fuel industry. Several of his cabinet picks are people with a history of opposition to the agency they were named to head. Three of the four chair-level members of Trump's transition team commissioned to draw up a list of proposals to guide his Native American policies have links to the oil industry." He also invited American manufacturers to suggest which regulations should be eliminated; industry leaders submitted 168 comments, of which nearly half targeted EPA rules.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appointments
- 3 Domestic energy policy
- 4 Proposed EPA budget cuts
- 5 Department of the Interior
- 5.1 National monuments
- 5.2 Offshore drilling
- 5.3 Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling
- 5.4 Privatization of Native American reservations
- 5.5 Endangered species threat
- 5.6 Regulation of hazardous chemicals
- 5.7 Toxic waste clean-up
- 5.8 Clean water legislation
- 5.9 Clean Air Act standards
- 5.10 Coal emission standards
- 5.11 Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
- 6 Climate change
- 7 Lawsuits
- 8 See also
- 9 References
During the campaign, Trump expressed the view that global warming and cooling is a natural process. He often described global warming as a "hoax"; and sometimes attributed the "hoax" to the Chinese government as a plot to sabotage American manufacturing, but later claimed that had been a joke. As a candidate Trump said he would rescind Obama's Climate Action Plan, cancel U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement, and stop all U.S. payments towards United Nations global warming programs.
Trump's cabinet nominees reflect his desire to scale back federal environmental regulation and to promote domestic production of coal, oil, and natural gas. In some cases his appointees had a history of conflict with the agencies they now lead. Although the scientific conclusion is that “it is extremely likely (95 to 100 percent probable) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” Trump's department head appointees do not agree that global warming has been man-made.
As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Trump's choice for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt challenged EPA regulations in court more than a dozen times. Some of those court cases are still pending, and Pruitt has declined to say if he would recuse himself with regard to those suits. Pruitt hired former Oklahoma banker Albert Kelly to head the Superfund program, which is responsible for cleaning up the nation's most contaminated land. Kelly completely lacked any experience with environmental issues, and had just received a lifetime ban from working in banking, his career until then, due to "unfitness to serve".
Pruitt said he planned to prioritize state and local control over federal land use and ease regulations on the environmental impacts of industries. A March 2017 executive order allowed Pruitt to start a review process of the Obama Administration's regulations of the coal industry, reflecting Trump's repeated promises to support the coal industry and "bring back jobs" in coal mining. Such changes are likely to affect America's ability to meet the climate emission goals of the Paris Agreement. Pruitt has said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. While admitting that the climate is warming, Pruitt believes that warming is not necessarily harmful and could be beneficial. "Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100, in the year 2018? That’s fairly arrogant for us to think that we know exactly what it should be in 2100.” Climate experts, including Michael Mann and Chris Field who oversaw a United Nations and World Meteorological Organization scientific report on climate change, disagree with Pruitt's position. According to Field, "thousands" of studies document that a warming planet causes a host of problems, not just from high temperatures but also from heat waves, higher seas, heavier downpours, and more frequent destructive hurricanes and wildfires."
In April 2018, Pruitt drew criticism for what some consider to be the excessive security expenditures which he had requested. Trump defended Pruitt in a twitter stating, "Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars." However, according to PolitiFact no new figures on air quality have been released since 2016. To state the nation's waters as being at record clean levels is also inaccurate since while a report was issued in 2017, the information was gathered in 2012 or earlier. Commenting on Pruitt's claim that his excessive security expenses are related to his need for security, the New York Times commented that the high expenses appear to be "driven more by a desire to avoid tough questions from the public than by concerns about security." In April 2018, thirty-nine members of the Senate and more than 130 members of the House of Representatives called for Pruitt's resignation.
On July 5, 2018, President Trump tweeted, "I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this." At the time of his resignation Pruitt was facing numerous ethics investigations.
Deputy Administrator of the EPA
In 2017 Trump submitted Andrew Wheeler as Deputy Administrator of the EPA. Wheeler has worked as a lawyer and lobbyist, specializing in energy and environmental policy. He is a critic of nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions and has supported the continued use of fossil fuels. The Senate rejected him in 2017 and Trump resubmitted his name in January 2018. In March 2018, Wheeler commented to CNN that the EPA is "brainwashing our kids." His nomination was confirmed on April 12, 2018, by a mostly party line vote of 53-45, that included three Democratic Senators. Ken Cook the president of the Environmental Working Group commented on Wheeler's appointment calling Wheeler a coal and chemical "shill" and saying, "Before the Trump administration, it would have been inconceivable that a coal and chemical industry lobbyist with a long history of hostility toward environmental policy would be the number two at the EPA." Following Pruitt's resignation, Wheeler was appointed to head the EPA on July 5, 2018.
Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is tasked with developing technology for better and more efficient energy sources as well as energy education. Trump chose Rick Perry to head the department, who had called for eliminating it when he was running for the Republican nomination for President in 2012. His confirmation as head of the Department of Energy was a source of contention among Democrats due to his previous denial of man-made climate change and his close ties to the Texas oil and gas industry. During his confirmation hearing, Perry said he regretted his promise to abolish the Department of Energy.
Department of the Interior
Ryan Zinke was appointed Secretary of the Interior in 2017. Following his appointment, Zinke said that he had made “probably the greatest reorganization in the history of the Department of the Interior." Some scientists charged that some of the staff changes were politically motivated. Zinke supported Trump's plan to reduce the DOI budget by $1.6 billion in 2018, which would have caused roughly 4,000 employees to lose their jobs and a rollback of many of the regulations that Obama put in place. When questioned about global warming during is senate confirmation hearing, Zinke replied, "...I don't know definitively, there's a lot of debate on both sides of the aisle."
In January 2019, Zinke was replaced with David Bernhardt, an attorney and oil industry lobbyist who had been serving as Trump's United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior since 2017. At his confirmation hearing, speaking regarding his policy decisions related to global warming he said, "We’re going to look at the science whatever it is, but ... policy decisions are made — this president ran and he won on a particular perspective." During Bernhardt's tenure as Deputy Secretary and Acting Secretary, the Department embarked on a program of deregulation and substantially increased fossil fuel sales on public land. In March 2019, Politico reported that heads of the oil industry lobbyist group Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) boasted about their ties to Bernhardt.
Department of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia, was appointed Agriculture Secretary. His supporters say that his experience in agriculture and conservative views on immigration make him an appropriate choice. Perdue says that he plans to rid the department of "onerous regulations" that do not contribute to a better environment. Opponents fear that he will not sufficiently address the effects that farm pollution has on sources of drinking water. Speaking on climate change, Perdue says that he agrees that the climate is warming but "we don't know definitively in my opinion what is causing climate change."
Council on Environmental Quality
The Council on Environmental Quality is a division of the Executive Office of the President that coordinates federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices on the development of environmental and energy policies and initiatives. In October 2017, Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to be chair of CEQ. Some of Hartnett's energy views have been considered controversial. She has "called renewable energy unreliable and parasitic" and she has "suggested that climate regulation is a conspiracy pushed by communists." Her nomination was withdrawn in February 2018 as she did not garner enough support in the Senate.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Trump nominated Barry Lee Myers to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Myers is an attorney and businessman who has served as CEO of AccuWeather, a company that provides commercial weather forecasting services. The National Weather Service, provides most of the same information for free by placing it in the public domain. In the past he has strongly advocated against NOAA's capability to provide a weather information service directly to the public.
Secretary of State
In March 2018, President Trump nominated Mike Pompeo as his new Secretary of State (succeeding Rex Tillerson). Pompeo has referred to the Obama administration's environment and climate change plans as "damaging" and "radical". He opposes the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and supports eliminating the United States federal register of greenhouse gas emissions. He has stated, "Federal policy should be about the American family, not worshipping a radical environmental agenda."  In 2012 he called for the permanent elimination of wind power production tax credits calling them an "enormous government handout". In 2015 he voted against the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan resolution. In 2019 Pompeo refused to sign on to a joint statement addressing the need for protection of the Arctic region from the threat of rapidly melting ice unless all mentions of climate change were removed from the document. He stated "climate change is actually good for the Arctic, since melting ice caps are 'opening up new shipping routes' and thus making it more economically viable to expand oil drilling in the region."
Domestic energy policy
America First Energy Plan
Trump unveiled what he calls the America First Energy Plan soon after his inauguration. His administration claims that "America has been held back by burdensome regulations on [its] energy industry". America currently has 264 billion barrels of oil reserves, the largest oil reserve of any nation. The United States also has a vast amount of coal reserves, amounting to 26% of the world's total, more than any other nation. Its untapped oil and coal resources are estimated to be worth about $50 trillion according to the Trump administration. However, reports from the Natural Resources Defense Council show that coal consumption in the US has steadily declined by about 20% over the last 10 years, with natural gas and renewable energy quickly taking over. Christina Simeone, director of policy and external affairs with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, says that strict regulations aren’t the only reason for the faltering coal market; natural gas has now become a cheaper option.
The White House estimates deregulation will increase wages by over $30 billion by 2024. This figure specifically refers to the removal of Obama's Climate Action Plan and was drawn from a study from the Institute for Energy Research, a conservative non-profit organization specializing in research of global energy markets; the report actually based that figure on increased oil drilling on federal land and offshore, not on reduction of regulations.
Trump wants America to achieve energy independence from OPEC and all nations hostile to the interests of the United States to ensure national security, and insulate it from any supply disruptions and price fluctuations from the global oil market. However, fossil fuels are finite, and entities such as The Pentagon claim climate change also poses a threat to national security. The NRDC argues that a more reliable long term solution would be to develop more of a reliance on renewable energy rather than maintaining a reliance on fossil fuels.
Currently, the EPA focuses on a range of topics including air, emergency management, land and cleanup, pesticides, toxic substances, waste, and water. Trump will refocus its efforts to solely protect clean air and clean water. This has resulted in a 31% proposed budget cut to the EPA. Environmentalists, current EPA staff members, and former EPA staff members believe that the EPA will have a harder time upholding environmental standards with a smaller budget.
In a 2018 analysis, David Cutler and Francesca Dominici of Harvard University stated that under the most conservative estimate, the Trump administration's rollbacks and proposed reversals of environmental rules would likely "cost the lives of over 80 000 US residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people." The EPA responded to the analysis by stating "This is not a scientific article, it’s a political article. The science is clear, under President Trump greenhouse gas emissions are down, Superfund sites are being cleaned up at a higher rate than under President Obama".
Renewable energy policy
The America First Energy Plan does not mention renewable energy and instead reflects the President's focus on fossil fuels. During the campaign, Trump praised solar technology during a rally in California the summer of 2016 but then criticized it for being too expensive and has since complained about the subsidies renewable energy companies receive. In June 2017, Trump said in a White House meeting that the wall with Mexico should be covered with solar panels. The statement was not taken seriously. The Trump administration's 2019 budget proposes large cuts in programs that research renewable energy and that study the effects of and ways to mitigate climate change.
Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline
An executive order reviving the plans for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines was signed by Trump on January 24, 2017 with the hopes of creating jobs and bolstering domestic energy production. The construction of the Keystone had been blocked by then-president Barack Obama, who considered it a major contributor to climate change due to the greenhouse gas intensive extraction of oil from tar sands. The Dakota Access Pipeline was also on hold. After months of protest, in December 2016 the Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) under the Obama administration announced that it would not grant an easement for the pipeline to be drilled under Lake Oahe and that USACE was undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes.
Many Sioux tribes have said that the pipeline threatens the tribe's environmental and economic well-being, and that it has damaged and destroyed sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance. The tribe has expressed concern about leaks because the pipeline passes under Lake Oahe, which serves as a major source of water. Protests at pipeline construction sites in North Dakota began in the spring of 2016 and drew indigenous people  from throughout North America as well as many other supporters, creating the largest gathering of Native Americans in the past hundred years.
Executive order on climate change
Amid protests, on March 28, 2017, Trump signed a "sweeping executive order" instructing EPA "regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions and other environmental regulations." Trump was accompanied by "coal miners and coal executives" among others and he devoted his remarks on the executive order to "praising coal miners, pipelines and U.S. manufacturing." He addressed the coal-miners directly, "Come on, fellas. Basically, you know what this is? You know what it says, right? You’re going back to work." A Trump official said that the executive order plans to put American jobs first by not supporting climate change policies that place the economy at risk.
Auto fuel economy and emissions standards
The Obama administration 2012 fuel economy plan called for a doubling in fuel economy for new cars and light trucks, to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, equivalent to a real-world average of 36 m.p.g. In April 2018, saying "those standards are inappropriate and should be revised,” Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA was rolling back the Obama administration's fuel efficiency and emissions standards. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the announcement saying:
- "EPA Administrator Pruitt’s decision to begin rolling back fuel economy standards is a victory for big oil and major corporations at the expense and cost to all American consumers who can expect higher prices at the pump for decades to come. The necessity for clean air for healthy children cannot be understated. As usual, the administration sides with big, powerful special interests over the interests of most, if not all, American families; who will pay the price to subsidize the oil industry clinging to power as the dominant economic superpowers around the world surge ahead and set the standard with the ongoing implementation, development, efficient utilization, and eventual optimization of renewable energy systems.”
The state of California has a waiver that allows it to set its own auto emissions standards, which it has used to combat smog and, more recently, global warming. Thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted the California standards as their own. Arguing that the Pruitt plan violates the federal Clean Air Act and doesn't follow the agency's own regulations, in April California sued the Trump administration. Joining California were Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia. All have Democratic attorneys general.
Proposed EPA budget cuts
While campaigning for office Trump had proposed the idea of eliminating the EPA in order to help balance the United States' budget. Trump said, "We're going to have little tidbits left but we're going to get most of it out". Following his election, in March 2017, he announced plans to cut the EPA 2018 budget by 31%, by far the largest budget cut to any federal agency. The cut would result in a loss of 19% of the workforce or roughly 3,200 employees, through both staff buyouts and layoffs. The choice to remove the Clean Power Plan, which was put in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions chiefly from coal-fired power plants, would effectively eliminate Obama's efforts to curb climate change. This plan would also remove the $100 million allocated to fund research combating climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides $250 million for programs which aid countries with high risk of impacts from rising and increasingly warm and acidic sea water levels. These programs would be eliminated under the new set of budget cuts. If enacted, this would mean the elimination of up to 38 of the agency's programs. Programs to be eliminated include the radon program, grants to clean up industrial sites ("brownfields"), climate change research, and the Office of Environmental Justice.
Trump‘s objectives include the lifting of regulations from various energy industries to boost domestic energy production. Trump asked American manufacturers which regulations made production the most difficult. The industry leaders responded, and an overwhelming number of them recommended lifting restrictions related to the environment and workers' rights. In an open letter to Scott Pruitt, Mustafa Ali, former head of the EPA's Environmental Justice Program who resigned in protest to Pruitt's budget cuts, expressed concerns with how the budget cuts will effect pollution in poor and minority neighborhoods.
The administration says it plans to refocus the EPA mission on clean water, air, and other core responsibilities. It also plans to delegate more of the EPA's enforcement activities to the states, while decreasing the amount of money given to states for that purpose by 30%. Issues like greenhouse gas emissions would be trimmed significantly or eliminated from the budget.
On September 12, 2018, the Senate approved a so-called "Minibus funding bill" or "Omnibus spending bill," which reduced the EPA's budget from $8.2 billion annually to $5.7 billion, a decrease of $2.5 billion or -31%. The bill is expected to eliminate more than 50 programs and 3,200 jobs, discontinue funding for international climate-change programs, cut funding for the Office of Research and Development in half, cut funding for the Superfund cleanup program and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, and prioritizes drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
Department of the Interior
The Department of the Interior is responsible for the management and conservation of natural resources, most federal lands such as national parks and forests, wildlife refuges and tribal territories. Trump accused President Obama of “denying millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet” by his leasing restrictions and the banning new coal extraction on federal lands. Trump campaigned on a promise to “unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.” Trump's proposed 2018 budget proposes decreasing funding for the Department of Interior by $1.5 billion.
Trump appointed Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana as Secretary of the Interior. Zinke is an advocate for mining and logging on federal lands. Commenting on the Trump presidency, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, a Washington DC-based lobby group, said, "This opportunity is unique, maybe once in a lifetime,” in regards to increased access to federal leases.
The Trump Administration plans to open up more federal land for energy development, such as fracking and drilling. The Clean Water Rule, issued by the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers in 2015, is also a target for possible repeal. The rule clarifies the federal government's jurisdiction to protect small streams and wetlands from pollution. Developers, business, and agriculture groups oppose the rule because they believe that their private property rights are violated and that undue regulatory burdens are created.
In April 2017, President Trump directed the Department of the Interior to review 27 monuments of at least 100,000 acres in size through Executive Order 13792. The vast majority of the lands under review were set aside by President Obama.
In June 2017, Zinke issued an interim report as requested in the Executive Order. He proposed a scaling back of the Bears Ears National Monument. In August 2017, Zinke delivered a final report to Trump. The report called for the reduction of Bears Ears (established by Obama - 2016), Cascade–Siskiyou (Clinton - 2000), Gold Butte (Obama - 2016), Grand Staircase-Escalante (Clinton - 1996), Pacific Remote Islands Marine (Bush - 2006), and Rose Atoll Marine (Bush - 2009).
Zinke's recommendations have been met with both approval and criticisms by state lawmakers, environmentalists, and tribal governments. In particular, Native Americans in the Southwest were fundamental in getting the Bears Ears designated as a national monument. Members of the Navajo tribe were integral to the monument's passage. A tribal spokesperson stated that a reduction in the size of the Bear's Ears Monument would be “an attack on a significant part of the foundation of American conservation law.” A Navajo elder commented, “It was always and has been a spiritual place. It’s the white people that came and tried to nullify that. And we had to fight to get it — to play the game the Western way, the government way, to have it reestablished as a national monument, as a sacred place for us. Now there is a stupid guy trying to take it away.” A different opinion is offered by a Republican Utah state representative who sees a shrinking of the Bears Ears Monument as a victory over federal restrictions over mining and animal grazing. “When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over."
In January 2018, the Interior Department announced plans to allow drilling in nearly all U.S. waters. This would be the largest expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing ever proposed, and includes regions that were long off-limits to development and more than 100 million acres in the Arctic and the Eastern Seaboard, regions that President Obama had placed under a drilling moratorium.
Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling
The Trump administration tax bill passed in December 2017 includes a provision introduced by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski that requires Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to approve at least two lease sales for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Scientists, environmentalists and former Interior Department officials have warned that fossil fuel extraction in the ANWR could harm the landscape and the species that live there. Speaking in February 2018, Trump said he had little interest in opening the refuge to drilling until a friend told him Republicans have been trying to open it to drilling for decades. “After that I said, ‘Oh, make sure that’s in the [tax] bill.' I really didn’t care about it, and then when I heard that everybody wanted it — for 40 years they’ve been trying to get it approved — I said, ‘Make sure you don’t lose ANWR.’”
Privatization of Native American reservations
Within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs handles some federal relations with Native Americans. Native American reservations are estimated to contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves. In December 2016, a Trump advisory group put forth a plan to privatize Native American reservations to open them up to drilling and mining. Many Native Americans view such efforts as a violation of tribal self-determination and culture.
Trump’s transition team commissioned a Native American coalition to draw up a list of proposals to guide his Indian policy. According to a Reuters investigative report, "The backgrounds of the coalition’s leadership are one sign of its pro-drilling bent. At least three of four chair-level members have links to the oil industry."
Endangered species threat
In February 2018, Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke presented their recommendation for the 2019 budget. Their proposed budget does not grant any funding for state efforts for the recovery of endangered species. The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, a program authorized by the Endangered Species Act, supports conservation planning, habitat restoration, land acquisition, research, and education. To qualify for funding, a state or territory must put up at least 25 percent of a project's cost. The administration justifies the budget change saying that it “is not requesting funding for these activities in order to support higher priorities.”
A senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity said gutting the fund would push endangered species toward extinction. “This is especially damaging because [the] funding is often the backbone of state non-game programs and helps animals across the country, from bats and butterflies to salmon and grizzlies.” The former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who served during Obama's time in office said, “We were very proud of the record we set, that we had recovered and delisted more species than all previous administrations combined. And that didn’t happen by accident. It happened because we applied the resources to get species over that last mile.”
In July 2018, more than two dozen pieces of "legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken" the Endangered Species Act were introduced or voted on by congress. Former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt, the deputy interior secretary, has led the push to review the endangered species act. Utah Republican Representative Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. “We’re all aware that the Endangered Species Act hasn’t undergone any significant updates in over 40 years. Now is the time to modernize this antiquated law to simultaneously benefit both endangered species and the American people.” Bruce Babbitt, who served as the interior secretary under the Clinton administration, commented, "This is the first time that we’ve seen an orchestrated effort by the president, the Republican leaders in the House, the industry and the Interior Department all working together in a concentrated effort to eviscerate the act." Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, commented, "I think the Endangered Species Act is endangered. They haven’t been able to do this for 20 years, but this looks like their one chance.”
Mexico border wall concerns
Trump's proposed border wall will block the movement of threatened wildlife and interfere with the movement of animals in response to climate change. The wall could prevent genetic exchange. Critical habitats are on the border with Mexico in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 and candidates for that list from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service includes ninety-three species whose ranges are near or cross the border.
In July 2018, citing "bypassed environmental laws, habitat destruction, and losses to conservation and scientific research", in a report published in the scientific journal BioScience thousands of scientists "expressed alarm" over the expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The report has 16 co-authors and as of July 24, 2,700, signatures from almost 50 countries. 
Among the threatened species are the jaguar (the largest cat native to North America), the ocelot (30 pound cats that could be making a comeback), the Mexican wolf (the smallest gray wolf in North America), the Sonoran pronghorn (related to giraffes, they can run 60 mph and are North America's fastest land mammals), the tiny cactus ferruginous pygmy owl (who fly at about 4.5 to 13 feet, lower than the wall), and the Quino checkerspot butterfly (who fly no higher than 6 to 8 feet).
Regulation of hazardous chemicals
It has been charged that the Trump administration has attempted to change the way the federal government evaluates hazardous chemicals that may pose a risk to human health, making them more aligned with the chemical industry's wishes. Trump appointed Nancy B. Beck as a top deputy of the EPA's toxic chemical unit, while during her previous five years she had been an executive at the industry trade association American Chemistry Council for American chemical companies. Shortly after her appointment in May 2017, Beck rewrote, among others, the regulations covering the chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which has been linked to many serious health problems. Her revisions make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore harder to regulate.
In March 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt denied that he had met with Dow Chemicals CEO Andrew Liveris before making a decision to deny a petition to ban Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide that had been initiated by the Obama administration. Research has concluded that even minuscule amounts of chlorpyrifos can disrupt the development of fetuses and infants. In August, it was revealed that in fact Pruitt and other EPA officials had met with industry representatives on dozens of occasions in the weeks immediately prior to the March decision, promising them that it was "a new day" and assuring them that their wish to continue using chlorpyrifos had been heard. Ryan Jackson, Pruitt's chief of staff, said in a March 8 email that he had "scared" career staff into going along with the political decision to deny the ban, adding "[T]hey know where this is headed and they are documenting it well." Emails also indicated that the decision was closely coordinated with the White House and the Department of Agriculture. Following the decision, the American Academy of Pediatrics said they were "deeply alarmed" and urged Pruitt to take chlorpyrifos off the market saying, "There is a wealth of science demonstrating the detrimental effects of chlorpyrifos exposure to developing fetuses, infants, children and pregnant women. The risk to infant and children's health and development is unambiguous."
Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, the agency's previous top official overseeing pesticides and toxic chemicals, said she first felt concern when the EPA's new leadership decided to reevaluate a plan to ban methylene chloride, and trichloroethylene, two chemicals that have caused deaths and severe health problems. “It was extremely disturbing to me. The industry met with EPA political appointees. And then I was asked to change the agency’s stand.” In March 2017, Hamnett was again instructed to ignore the recommendation of EPA scientists and deny the ban of chlorpyrifos. Hamnett retired in September and was replaced by a toxicologist who has spent years helping businesses fight EPA restrictions.
In 2017, a coalition of attorneys general for several states, farm workers, and environmental groups sued then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt over his chlorpyrifos ban reversal. Saying that the EPA had "violated federal law by ignoring the conclusions of agency scientists that chlorpyrifos is harmful," on August 9, 2018, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the EPA to remove chlorpyrifos from sale in the United States within 60 days.
The US EPA had also recently taken a variety of actions to regulate the use of neonicotinoids, pesticides linked to declining bee numbers. In 2014, under the Obama presidency, a blanket ban was issued against the use of neonicotinoids in National Wildlife Refuges in response to concerns about off-target effects, and a lawsuit from environmental groups. In 2018, the Trump administration reversed this decision, stating that decisions on neonicotinoid usage on farms in wildlife refuges will be made on a case by case basis. The Trump decision also ended the policy of prohibiting large tracts of land to be used for the growing of biotech crops such as corn and soybeans in the refuges.
Lead paint standards
According to the EPA, lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat for children ages 6 and younger. No new standards have been set since 2001, though it is agreed that the old standards need to be updated. In December 2017, after Pruitt requested six more years to regulate lead levels, a divided federal appeals court issued a writ of mandamus ordering Pruitt to regulate lead within the next 90 days. The Court called the lead paint risks for children "severe".
PFOS and PFOA study publication withheld
Using information gained through a Freedom of Information Act request, in May 2018 it was learned that January 2018 emails between the EPA, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) showed an apparent decision to withhold the results of a study done by the DHHS Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) that was planned for publication. Looking at the chemicals widely known as PFOS and PFOA, the study showed that they endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe. They have been found to contaminate several areas, reaching water supplies near military bases, chemical plants, and other sites in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. One White House email said, “The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge. The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful. We (DoD and EPA) cannot seem to get ATSDR to realize the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be.” When questioned about the release of the study the White House referred questions to DHHS, which confirmed that the study has no scheduled release date. Pruitt‘s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, defended EPA's decision to withhold the results of the study to “ensure that the federal government is responding in a uniform way to our local, state, and Congressional constituents and partners.” 
Members of Congress had a very strong reaction to the release of information regarding the withholding of the study, including several Republican lawmakers from states which have been affected by chemical contamination. Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (American politician) said in a statement:
- "It would be unacceptable if the political considerations of those at the highest levels of the EPA led to the suppression of information concerning the public health of Americans. The EPA must provide my constituents with answers to these allegations immediately.”
Faced with several contamination sites in their state of Vermont, several Vermont lawmakers also voiced strong opinions. Representative Peter Welch commented:
- "I am outraged, but not surprised, that Scott Pruitt's anti-science EPA is suppressing research that would shed light on the health threats posed by PFOA contamination of the water supply. Last year, I visited with homeowners in Bennington whose water was rendered undrinkable due to PFOA contamination. They have a right to see this information, which was gathered by federal employees and paid for with taxpayer funds. EPA should immediately make it available to the public and end its practice of choosing polluters over the public's right to know."
Senator Patrick Leahy wrote:
- "My opinion of this White House and of EPA leadership, already quite low, hits rock bottom when I see them block the release of a scientific report meant to protect nursing mothers and pregnant women from toxic exposure, because they believe it will cause a `public relations nightmare' or concern from the public and Congress. The anti-science know-nothingism of this administration causes real harm to real people, including Vermonters. It's cynical; it's playing with people's lives, and it's wrong."
Pruitt conceded that his agency should take "concrete action" related to chemicals like PFAS, but testified that he was unaware of any delay in the release of the study. On May 16 Pruitt announced a “leadership summit” on PFOA, PFOS and related chemicals scheduled for the following week.
When the "invitation only" leadership summit was held on May 22 and 23, news agencies, including Politico, E&E News, and CNN were initially barred from the hearing. An Associated Press journalist was told she was not on the invitation list and forcibly removed from the room. CNN commented, "We understand the importance of an open and free press and we hope the EPA does, too,” Jahan Wilcox, speaking for the EPA, justified the agency's actions by claiming the summit was not a “federal advisory committee event, ” to which the public would be entitled to access, but instead was an opportunity “for EPA’s state, tribal, and federal government partners and national organizations to share a range of individual perspectives” regarding PFASs. Senator Tom Udall, the ranking Democrat on a committee with oversight of EPA, did not agree. He sent a letter to Pruitt saying "Clean drinking water is a public health issue that does not belong behind closed doors.”
Toxic waste clean-up
In attempts to lift regulations on oil, mining, drilling, and farming industries, the Trump administration proposed a 31% budget cut to the EPA that would result in reduced initiatives to protect water and air quality, leaving much of the effort up to the states. Environmentalists fear that these cuts will result in health problems. EPA budget cuts are also expected to lead to decreased regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which would result in less federal oversight of clean-up projects in these areas.
EPA Administer Scott Pruitt hired former Oklahoma banker Albert Kelly to head the Superfund program, which is responsible for cleaning up the nation's most contaminated land. Kelly completely lacked any experience with environmental issues, and had just received a lifetime ban from working in banking, his career until then.
Clean water legislation
Roll back of Obama administration regulations
Much of the Trump administration's efforts to decrease pollution regulation involved directly rescinding or overturning pollution regulations enacted under the Obama administration. In February 2017, Trump signed a resolution overturning President Obama's Stream Protection Rule, after being in effect for less than 30 days. When he signed the resolution repealing the rule, Trump predicted that striking down the rule would save thousands of U.S. mining-related jobs. The administration has also proposed a rollback on the Obama administration's extension of federal jurisdiction over lands protected by the Clean Water Act in attempts to reduce water pollution in areas surrounding toxic waste facilities.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
During Trump's first year in office he called for eliminating the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, initiated by President Obama, and in the following two years he called for a 90% cut to the program. However Congress overruled him, giving the program $300 million each year. In 2019 he cut the program from $300 million to just $30 million. In March 2019, speaking at a rally in Michigan, which borders Lake Michigan, he commented:
I support the Great Lakes. Always have. They are beautiful. They are big, very deep. Record deepness, right? And I am going to get, in honor of my friends, full funding of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative which you have been trying to get for over 30 years. So, we will get it done.
Clean Water Rule/Clean Water Act
On February 28, 2017, President Trump enacted an executive order to allow the Administrator of the EPA to revise or rescind the Clean Water Rule, also referred to as Waters of the United States (WOTUS), in the name of economic growth and eliminating ambiguous regulations. Research cited by the EPA shows that one in three Americans get their water from public drinking water systems which are partly sourced from streams protected by the Clean Water Rule. These streams may be in danger of pollution by industrial and agricultural waste, sewage, radioactive materials and a large number of other pollutants now covered by the Clean Water Rule. The Audubon Society has expressed concerns about a repeal of the Rule. They write at their website: "...the Trump administration’s intent is clear: to reverse Obama-era environmental protections no matter what, even if they have been effective at protecting avian and human life."
On April 10, 2019, President Trump issued two executive orders aimed at boosting the production of fossil fuels by cutting back on regulations he sees as"unnecessary red tape". The new regulations benefit energy companies by making it more difficult for states to block projects such as oil pipelines by using the Clean Water Act. Currently under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, states can reject any project if they believe it could impact the state’s water. Under Trump's order any decisions related to permits will no longer be made by the State Secretary, but by the president.
Clean Air Act standards
In June 2017, Pruitt announced that he would delay designating which areas met new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. Ozone is a byproduct of pollutants from burning fossil fuels: it is linked to respiratory ailments such as asthma attacks. In August 2017, Pruitt said he would reverse that decision after being sued by 16 state Attorneys General. In March 2018, Pruitt was finally ordered to do so by U.S. District Judge Haywood Stirling Gilliam Jr.
Coal emission standards
On August 21, 2018 the Trump administration announced plans to cut back Obama's coal emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, calling them "overly prescriptive and burdensome." The Trump plan increases the leeway given states to make their own decisions on coal emission standards, saying it "empowers states, promotes energy independence, and facilitates economic growth and job creation." Critics say the proposal would allow states to run and extend the life of older less efficient power plants and use less stringent emission guidelines for establishing new plants.
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
Established under the Obama administration, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) are research centers that address broad issues such as flooding, species extinction, and climate change. When Trump entered office he eliminated LCC funding in his budget proposals, as he did for many science programs. However, following pressure from state fish and wildlife agencies, NGOs and tribal groups, Congress restored the LCC funding. In April 2019, it was reported that while Congress had set aside funding for LCC projects, the Trump administration had either closed 16 of the 22 research centers or put them on indefinite hiatus. Another six remain open receiving support from other sources.
Although in the scientific literature there is overwhelming scientific consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases, neither Trump nor any of the department heads he has appointed believe that global warming is human-related. Speaking in a 2017 interview he stated, "You have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years, Dr. John Trump, and I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture." Calling himself "an environmentalist", he said, "Everything I want and everything I have is clean. Clean is very important — water, air. I want absolutely crystal clear water and I want the cleanest air on the planet and our air now is cleaner than it’s ever been. Very important to me."
Following Trump's election large amounts of climate information from the EPA website was altered or removed. There was widespread concern among environmentalists and scientists and a coalition of scientific and academic groups began to make copies of the EPA web pages before they were deleted. According to the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative which tracks changes to government websites under the Trump administration, over 200 web pages providing climate information were omitted during Trump's first year in office. Other pages were altered to remove mentions of climate and climate change. In August 2017, the Trump administration rolled back regulations that required the federal government to account for climate change and sea-level rise when building infrastructure.
In May 2019, The New York Times reported that the White House-appointed Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), James Reilly, who has background in petroleum geology, ordered that the USGS only project impacts of climate change to 2040, instead of their previous practice of projecting to 2099. Thus, according to the Times, the 2022 National Climate Assessment, or other government reports on science, will not automatically include "such worst-case scenario projections". Models show that carbon emissions will only significantly change Earth's rate of warming around 2050. The Times also reported that the Trump administration is also planning to create a climate change review panel headed by William Happer, who is presently serving on Trump's United States National Security Council. Happer has repeatedly publicly stated, "the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.”
In June 2019, Trump's White House reportedly tried to prevent a State Department intelligence analyst, Dr. Rod Schoonover, from testifying to Congress about "possibly catastrophic" effects of human-caused climate change. Trump's White House reportedly prevented Schoonover's written testimony from being included in the official Congressional Record because it "doesn't reflect the coordinated [intelligence committee] position, or the administration’s position". The National Security Council offered many criticisms of Schoonover's testimony, including a comment that "a consensus of peer reviewed literature has nothing to do with the truth." The New York Times quoted two anonymous sources as saying that the comments came from William Happer, a denier of the scientific consensus on global warming. The White House Office of Legislative Affairs also reportedly proposed removing five pages of testimony about the "Scientific Baseline" regarding climate change and the "Stresses to Human and Societal Systems" posed by climate change.
Paris Climate Agreement
On June 1, 2017, Trump announced United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, causing the U.S. to become the third out of 197 nations worldwide to not sign the agreement. As of 2018 the remaining two nations signed and the U.S. is the only nation that have not ratified the Paris Agreement.
Prior to withdrawal, the U.S. had pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 and assign $3 million in aid to foreign countries combating climate change. The withdrawal was supported by several Republican lawmakers who felt that backing out was in-line with Trump's "America First" policy and goals to diverge from the environmental policies of the Obama administration. The announcement has been criticized by many national and international leaders, domestic politicians, business leaders and academics as well as a large majority of American citizens (7 out of 10 according to a study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication).
Trump opposed the agreement on the grounds that it would compromise U.S. sovereignty and cause many Americans to lose their jobs. Proponents of the agreement argue, however, that backing out will result in a loss for our economy as new green jobs are offered instead to competitors overseas. Trump also announced his attempts to reach a negotiation with leaders involved in the agreement, who responded saying that the accord was "non-negotiable".
The process of withdrawal is expected to take several years, and in the meantime there has been a vocal resistance on the state and local levels. Hawaii became the first state to independently commit to the goals initially lined out by the accord. Shortly after Trump's announcement, state governments in California, New York, and Washington founded the United States Climate Alliance to continue advancing the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The sentiment has also been expressed by other state governors, by mayors and businesses, and the alliance now has 10 states with governors of both the Democratic and Republican parties pledging to abide by the agreement. Additionally, shortly after withdrawal California governor Jerry Brown met personally with President Xi Jinping of China to declare the states' compliance with the Paris Accord. In September 2017, some administration officials stated that the administration remains open to staying in the agreement "under the right conditions." 
Climate Action Plan
Trump has committed to the removal of regulations on industry that he deems an unnecessary burden on energy industries. Specifically, he has cited Obama's Climate Action Plan as a priority among these regulations. The Climate Action Plan, issued in June 2013, includes regulations to industry with the ultimate goal of cutting domestic carbon emission, preparing the U.S. for impending effects of climate change, and working internationally to address climate change. Among the regulations outlined in the plan are initiatives to increase natural disaster preparedness, create and improve existing hospitals, and modernize infrastructure to better withstand extreme weather.
Clean Power Plan
The Clean Power Plan was an Obama administration policy aimed at combating global warming that was first proposed in 2014. The plan's goal was to move away from coal and instead use renewable energy or gas to generate electricity, which would reduce particulate matter in the environment. In March 2017, Trump signed an executive order to officially withdraw and rewrite Obama's Clean Power Plan in an effort to revive the coal mining industry. Trump has also called Obama-era fuel standards a burden on the U.S. automotive industry. EPA began its formal repeal of the Clean Power Plan in October 2017.
In May 2019, Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced plans to change the way the EPA calculates health risks of air pollution, resulting in the reporting of far fewer health-related deaths and making it easier to roll back the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. The Trump administration has argued that the Obama administration over-estimated the health risks for various environmental regulations, to the detriment of industry. Administrator Wheeler defended the change as a way to rectify inconsistencies in the current cost-benefit analyses used by the agency. The new plan will be known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule. The planned changes were hailed by industry representatives.
Carbon Monitoring System
The Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) is a NASA remote monitoring system used to measure carbon dioxide and methane, using instruments placed in satellites and aircraft. The information provided by the CMS can be used to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords. CMS has also supported other research projects including providing information that has helped countries assess their carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. In April 2018, President Trump ended funding for the CMS.
2016 Methane rule
In September 2018, the Trump administration submitted plans to roll back Obama-era legislation designed to reduce oil and gas industry leaks of methane gas. The proposed new rule would put an additional 380,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere from 2019 to 2025, an amount that is roughly equivalent to more than 30 million tons of carbon dioxide. The EPA noted that while increased pollution as a result of the proposal “may also degrade air quality and adversely affect health and welfare,” their plan will save $75 million in regulatory costs annually. Governor Jerry Brown of California called the administration's proposal "perhaps the most obvious and dangerous and irresponsible action by Mr. Trump — and that’s saying quite a lot."
2018 National Climate Assessment
In November 2018, the government released its Fourth National Climate Assessment. The report, issued every four years, is written by 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading climate scientists. The report warns of the potential catastrophic impacts of climate change including changes to the availability of food and water, increasing extreme weather and decreasing air quality, and the spread of new diseases by insects and pests. When questioned about the report President Trump replied, “I’ve seen it. I’ve read some of it. It’s fine [but] I don’t believe it.”
During its first few months in office the Trump administration rescinded rules limiting mercury and air toxins from power plants, limiting water pollution from coal plants, banning the pesticide chlorpyrifos, and banning methane emissions from landfills, among other rules, which has resulted in lawsuits from various environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The litigation director of the NRDC commented, “It all shows that this administration won’t protect the environment unless they are sued. They have been reckless and not followed the basic requirements of the law.”
Saying, "Over and over again, the Trump administration has put the profits of multinational polluters over the health and well-being of everyday Americans,” New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman has filed over 50 lawsuits opposing Trump's environmental revisions. He comments, “We’ve already beaten back several of this administration’s toxic policies, from energy efficiency rollbacks to smog. [...] I expect we will see a number of further losses for the administration on similar grounds. If they keep showing the same disregard for the law, their attempt to repeal all these environmental regulations will go badly for them.”
Some of the lawsuits have already been successful, such as a lawsuit from the Environmental Defense Fund and other environmental groups against the Trump administration's decision to suspend a rule which limited methane emissions from oil and gas wells, a decision which was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Following legal action the Administration also reversed its decision to do away with an Obama-era plan requiring dentists to prevent about five tons of mercury, used in their practice, from getting into the nation's waterways.
- March for Science
- People's Climate March (2017)
- Space-based measurements of carbon dioxide
- Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite
- Trump Tower
- "Promises about Environment on The Obameter". Politifact. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
- Popovich, Nadja; Albeck-Ripka, Livia. "52 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump". New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
- CNN, Jennifer Hansler,. "US, Syria are now only ones not in climate deal". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- Eilperin, Juliet (April 16, 2017). "EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry". Washington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Carswell, Cally. "Trump's First 100 Days: Environmental Policy and Public Lands". Scientific American. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- "Areas in the Pacific Ocean, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, and much of the Eastern Seaboard are included in the new plan". Scientific American. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Lipton, Eric. "Chemical industry insider now a top EPA hazards watchdog". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Citation needed
- Cutler, David; Dominici, Francesca (June 12, 2018). "A Breath of Bad Air: Cost of the Trump Environmental Agenda May Lead to 80 000 Extra Deaths per Decade". JAMA. 319 (22): 2261. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7351. ISSN 0098-7484.
- Cillizza, Chris. "Donald Trump buried a climate change report because 'I don't believe it'". CNN. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- "Trump to sign new order rolling back Obama energy regs". Fox News. March 28, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Bump, Philip (December 13, 2016). "Trump's Cabinet picks are often in direct conflict with the agencies they may lead". Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Volcovici, Valerie. "Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations". Reuters. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Worland, Justin (September 27, 2016). "Donald Trump Does Not Believe in Man-Made Climate Change, Campaign Manager Says".
- Jacobson, Louis (June 3, 2016). "Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax". PolitiFact. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Worland, Justin (November 16, 2016). "China to Donald Trump: No, We Didn't Invent Climate Change". Time. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
'Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump: The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.'
- Jackson, David (December 7, 2016). "Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick to head the EPA, has sued the EPA". USA Today. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Roberts, David. "The climate report scientists are afraid Trump will censor, explained". Vox. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Brodwin, Erin (December 8, 2016). "Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is currently suing it". Business Insider. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Dennis, Brady (January 28, 2017). "EPA nominee Scott Pruitt won't say if he would recuse himself from his own lawsuits against the agency". Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Lerner, Sharon (December 28, 2017). "Banned From the Banking Industry for Life, a Scott Pruitt Friend Finds a New Home at the EPA". The Intercept. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "EPA: Pruitt's Superfund point man penalized by banking regulators". www.eenews.net. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Adviser to EPA chief cited for federal banking violations". AP News. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Lipton, Eric; Davenport, Coral (January 14, 2017). "Scott Pruitt, Trump's E.P.A. Pick, Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Hayden, Michael Edison (March 28, 2017). "Can Trump really bring back coal jobs? The verdict is mixed". ABC News. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Davenport, Coral (March 2, 2017). "Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Embury-Dennis, Tom. "Trump's environment chief Scott Pruitt suggests climate change could be good for humanity". Independent. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Bacon, John. "Scientists rebuff EPA chief's claim that global warming may be good". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Greenberg, Jon. "PolitiFact fact-check: Donald Trump defends Scott Pruitt's rent, security, EPA record". PolitiFact. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Lipton, Eric; Friedman, Lisa (May 7, 2018). "'Smoke and Mirrors': Emails Detail Pruitt's Drive for Secrecy at the E.P.A." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- "Record number of lawmakers sign resolution demanding Pruitt's resignation". The Week. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Hendry, Erica. "Scott Pruitt resigns as head of EPA, Trump says". PBS News Hour. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- "Trump Nominates Coal Industry Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler To Help Run EPA". Legal Reader. July 26, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- Hand, Mark. "Trump renominates 'overwhelmingly unfit' nominee for top environmental position". ThinkProgress. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
- "Former Inhofe aide Wheeler confirmed as EPA's No. 2". CNN. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Senate confirms a former coal lobbyist as Scott Pruitt’s second-in-command at EPA, Washington Post, Steven Mufson, Brady Dennis & Dino Grandoni, April 12, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- "Senate votes to confirm former Texas governor Rick Perry as energy secretary". Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Davenport, Coral (January 19, 2017). "Rick Perry Regrets Call to Close Energy Department". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Davenport, Coral (December 13, 2016). "Trump Is Said to Offer Interior Job to Ryan Zinke, Montana Lawmaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Federman, Adam. "Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke Are Purging Climate Scientists for Telling the Truth". The Nation. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Neuhauser, Alan. "Trump Interior Pick: Extent of Human Role in Climate Change Up for 'Debate'". U.S. News. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "Democrats promise to investigate Zinke if House flips". Politico. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
- "President Donald J. Trump Announces Key Additions to his Administration". The White House. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- James, Ian (April 28, 2017). "Conservationists alarmed by Trump Interior nominee". USA Today. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- Whieldon, Esther. "US Interior Department nominee: Trump 'perspective' should outweigh climate science whenever possible". Politico. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "The New Acting Interior Secretary Is An Agency Insider And Ex-Oil Lobbyist". NPR. January 2, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Williams, Lance. "Recording Reveals Oil Industry Execs Laughing at Trump Access". Politico Magazine. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Trump picks Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary". Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- Lowe, Peggy. "We Spoke With New Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. Here's What He Said On Climate Change And Immigration". Harvest Public Media. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Dennis, Brady; Mooney, Chris (October 13, 2017). "Trump taps climate skeptic for top White House environmental post". Washington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- Bowman, Emma (February 4, 2018). "White House To Withdraw Controversial Nominee For Top Environmental Post". NPR. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Hand, Mark. "Trump renominates 'overwhelmingly unfit' nominee for top environmental position". ThinkProgress. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- Lefler, Dion (December 3, 2015). "Kansas starts working toward clean air plan that Pompeo wants to kill". The Wichita Eagle.
- Pompeo, Mike (September 30, 2012). "Rep. Mike Pompeo: Wind tax credit harms economy". The Wichita Eagle.
- Levitz, Eric. "Trump Thwarts GOP Plot to Pretend His Climate Agenda Isn't Idiotic". New York Intelligencer. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "An America First Energy Plan". WhiteHouse.gov. January 19, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- Egan, Matt (July 5, 2016). "U.S. has more untapped oil than Saudi Arabia or Russia". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- "How Much Coal Is Left". www.eia.gov. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- Remick, Pat; Tonachel, Luke; Steinberger, Kevin; Urbanek, Lauren. "ACCELERATING INTO A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE" (PDF). NRDC. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- Brady, Jeff (February 7, 2017). "'America First' Energy Plan Challenges Free Market Realities". NPR. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- "Linking Energy and U.S. National Security". Strauss Center. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- DAVENPORT, CORAL (October 13, 2014). "Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change". New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- "Regulatory Information By Topic". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- Eilperin, Juliet; Dennis, Brady (March 1, 2017). "White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs". Washington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- Dlouhy, Jennifer A (February 27, 2017). "Trump's EPA Budget Cuts May Unleash a Backlash as Risks Remain". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- Roston, Eric (June 13, 2018). "Researchers Argue Proposed EPA Changes Could Cause 80,000 More Deaths a Decade". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- Tabuchi, Hiroko (March 3, 2017). "Trump Got Nearly $1 Million in Energy-Efficiency Subsidies in 2012". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "Renewable Energy Sector Remains Optimistic Amid Trump Policy Outlook". NPR.org. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "U.S. utilities seek solar power as Trump sides with coal, fossil fuels". Los Angeles Times. February 4, 2017. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- Solon, Olivia (June 8, 2017). "Trump's pitch for making the Mexico border wall 'beautiful': add solar panels". The Guardian. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- "TRUMP PROPOSES CUTS TO CLIMATE AND CLEAN-ENERGY PROGRAMS". National Geographic. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- "Trump seeks to revive Dakota Access, Keystone XL oil pipelines". Washington Post. January 24, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "Analysis | Trump says he told aide to threaten Keystone XL pipeline company over arbitration case". Washington Post. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "Dakota Access Pipeline to be rerouted". CNN. December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
- "People at the front lines of the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline are calling it a 'death sentence'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- "#NoDAPL: Land Defenders Disrupt Gubernatorial Debate, Shut Down 5 Construction Sites". Democracy Now!. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
- "Life in the Native American oil protest camps". BBC News. September 2, 2016.
- Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin (March 28, 2017), Trump signs order at the EPA to dismantle environmental protections, The Washington Post, retrieved March 31, 2017CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
- Merica, Dan (March 29, 2017). ""What Trump's climate change order accomplishes -- and what it doesn't"". CNN. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
- Saenz, Arlette. "EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announces rollback of Obama-era auto fuel efficiency, emissions standards". ABC News. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- "California, 16 other states sue EPA over auto emissions rollbacks". CBS News. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "Trump says he'd eliminate 'Department of Environment Protection'". Washington Examiner. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs". Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "EPA hit hardest as Trump budget targets regulations". Reuters. March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- "Trump's budget would torpedo Obama's investments in climate change and clean energy". Washington Post. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- Eilperin, Juliet (March 1, 2017). "White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs". Washington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry". Washington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- "Chief environmental justice official at EPA resigns, with plea to Pruitt to protect vulnerable communities". Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- CNN, Rene Marsh and Eli Watkins. "Source reveals EPA programs Trump's budget could cut". CNN. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "Budget - The White House" (PDF).
- "What Trump cut in his agency budgets".
- Chow, Lorraine (January 13, 2017). "Big Oil cheers as Trump plans to open national parks for drilling". NationofChange. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- "A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment". April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- "What Will Become of Federal Public Lands Under Trump?". The New Yorker. January 31, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- Donald Trump (April 26, 2018). Executive Order 13792: Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act (Report). pp. 20429–20431. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
the Secretary shall consider: (i) the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act's requirement that reservations of land not exceed 'the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected';
- "Interior Secretary Proposes Shrinking Four National Monuments". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- Zinke, Ryan K. (June 10, 2017). Interim Report EO 13792 (Report). Retrieved June 13, 2017.
- Department of Interior (June 12, 2017). "Secretary Zinke Submits 45-Day Interim Report on Bears Ears National Monument and Extends Public Comment Period". U.S. Department of the Interior.
- Ryan K. Zinke (August 24, 2017). Final Report Summarizing Findings of the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act (PDF) (Report). U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
- D'Angelo, Chris. "Trump Says He 'Really Didn't Care' About Drilling Arctic Refuge. Then A Friend Called". HuffPost. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Trump begins to speak at minute 1:40. "ANWR wildlife refuge". YouTube. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Newcomp, Steven. "A Misguided Plan to 'Privatize' Native Nation Lands?". Indian Country Today. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- D'Angelo, Chris. "Trump's Budget Would End Grant Funding For State Endangered Species Projects". HuffPost. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- "Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- Ruth, David (August 3, 2017). "Border wall would put more than 100 endangered species at risk, says expert". Phys.org. Science X Network. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- Greenwald, Noah; et al. (May 2017). "A Wall In the Wild" (PDF). Center for Biological Diversity. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- Furby, Kate. "Thousands of scientists object to Trump's border wall". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- Eric Lipton (October 21, 2017). "Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots". nytimes.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Lipton, Eric; Rabin, Roni Caryn (August 18, 2017). "E.P.A. Promised 'a New Day' for the Agriculture Industry, Documents Reveal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
- "EPA chief met with Dow Chemical CEO before deciding not to ban toxic pesticide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "EPA Administrator Pruitt Denies Petition to Ban Widely Used Pesticide". EPA. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Appeals court tells EPA to stop sales of harmful pesticide". YAHOO News. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- "EPA Actions to Protect Pollinators". US EPA. September 3, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
- "Trump administration lifts ban on pesticides linked to declining bee numbers". The Guardian. August 4, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
- Friedman, Lisa (December 28, 2017). "E.P.A. Wanted Years to Study Lead Paint Rule. It Got 90 Days". The New York Times. p. A10. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Snider, Annie. "White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study". Politico. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- Snider, Annie. "EPA move on chemical study may trip up Pruitt". Politico. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- Legal defense fund in place — Pruitt, E&E News, Kevin Bogardus, May 16, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Bauder, David. "EPA Lets AP Reporter Back Into Summit After She Was Shoved Out Of Building". TPM. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- For Second Day, Reporters Barred From EPA Event On Toxic Chemicals, Talking Points Memo, Matt Shuham, May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- Ebbs, Stephanie. "EPA continues to face questions about blocking public from chemicals summit". ABC. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- Greshko, Michael (November 15, 2016). "What Does Trump Mean for America's Lands and Waters?". National Geographic. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- "Stream Protection Rule". www.osmre.gov. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- Natter, Ari (February 16, 2017). "Trump Signs Measure Blocking Obama-Era Rule to Protect Streams". Bloomberg News.
- Plumer, Brad (February 2, 2017). "Why Trump just killed a rule restricting coal companies from dumping waste in streams". Vox. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Rupar, Aaron. "Trump is making stuff up about the Great Lakes, for some weird reason". Vox. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- "Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the "Waters of the United States" Rule". whitehouse.gov. February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- Sneed, Annie. "Trump's Order May Foul U.S. Drinking Water Supply". Scientific American. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- Bartels, Meghan. "The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule: What It Is and Why It's Important". The Audubon Society. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- "Trump's executive order paves a smooth path for oil pipelines". abc NEWS. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Press Release (June 6, 2017). "EPA to Extend Deadline for 2015 Ozone NAAQS Area Designations". EPA Press Office. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Friedman, Lisa (August 4, 2017). "E.P.A. Reverses Course on Ozone Rule". The New York Times. p. A11. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Cama, Timothy (March 12, 2018). "Court: EPA broke law with smog rule delay". The Hill. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Press Release (March 12, 2018). "Attorney General Becerra Secures Ruling Requiring EPA to Implement Life-Saving Clean Air Protections". California Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- "Trump plan scales back Obama's coal emissions standards". The Canadian Press. YAHOO News. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Pickett, Mallory. "Trump administration sabotages major conservation effort, defying Congress". The Guardian. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Morin, Rebecca. "Trump says he has 'natural instinct for science' when it comes to climate change". Politico. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "EPA chief Scott Pruitt personally monitored removal of climate info from website". CBS News. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
- Friedman, Lisa (August 15, 2017). "Trump Signs Order Rolling Back Environmental Rules on Infrastructure". The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- Davenport, Coral; Landler, Mark. "Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- Durkee, Alison. "EVEN STEVE BANNON THINKS TRUMP'S LATEST CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN IS TOO EXTREME". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
- Levitz, Eric. "Trump Thwarts GOP Plot to Pretend His Climate Agenda Isn't Idiotic". New York Intelligencer. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "White House blocked intelligence agency's written testimony saying climate change could be 'possibly catastrophic'". Washington Post.
- Friedman, Lisa (June 8, 2019). "White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show" – via NYTimes.com.
- "195 countries signed Paris climate agreement, 2 oppose it. For now". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- Dennis, Brandy. "As Syria embraces Paris climate deal, it's the United States against the world". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Liptak, Kevin; Acosta, Jim (June 1, 2017). "Trump on Paris accord: 'We're getting out'". CNN. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- Shear, Michael D. (June 1, 2017). "Trump Will Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- "Majorities of Americans in Every State Support Participation in the Paris Agreement - Yale Program on Climate Change Communication". Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- Bromwich, Jonah Engel (June 7, 2017). "Defying Trump, Hawaii Becomes First State to Pass Law Committing to Paris Climate Accord". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- New York Times, June 1, 2017, Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord
- Mali, Meghashyam (June 6, 2017). "California signs deal with China to combat climate change". TheHill. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- Peker, Emre (September 17, 2017). "Trump Administration Seeks to Avoid Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord". Retrieved May 4, 2018 – via www.wsj.com.
- "FACT SHEET: President Obama's Climate Action Plan". whitehouse.gov. June 25, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
- Davenport, Coral; Rubin, Alissa J. (March 28, 2017). "Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Popovich, Nadja (March 28, 2017). "Trump's Executive Order Pushes the U.S. Climate Pledge Further Out of Reach". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Green, Miranda. "EPA to reconsider cost benefit analysis of air pollution on human life". The Hill. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- "Trump White House axes Nasa research into greenhouse gas cuts". BBC. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "EPA rollback would ease rules on climate-changing methane". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- "Fourth National Climate Assessment". U.S. Global Change Research Program. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- Cillizza, Chris. "Donald Trump buried a climate change report because 'I don't believe it'". CNN. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- Cama, Timothy. "Court delays EPA mercury rule case while Trump reviews". The Hill. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- "EPA Plans to Rewrite Limits for Coal Power Plant Wastewater". The Weather Channel. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Willingham, Emily. "What We Know About Chlorpyrifos, The Pesticide The EPA Thinks Is Bad But Won't Ban". Forbes. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Rosengren, Cole. "NRDC files motion to vacate EPA's temporary stay on NSPS landfill rules". WasteDive. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Arrieta-Kenna, Ruairi. "Trump's environmental agenda is crashing into the courts". Vox. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Milman, Oliver. "'Sloppy and careless': courts call out Trump blitzkrieg on environmental rules". The Guardian. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- Friedman, Lisa. "Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule". New York Times. Retrieved August 18, 2017.