In the past week, the Trump administration and head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, have been furthering their goal of deregulation by setting emission standards lower for cars and trucks. The original regulations were put in place by the Obama administration, but the Trump administration is set on removing them in order to create a deregulated economy.
Additionally, Pruitt is attempting to reduce certain limits and laws set by the Clean Air Act and has made himself the executive decision-maker in the Clean Water Act. All of these changes have sent a clear message about the priorities of the Trump administration when it comes to preserving the environment.
This is the last thing we should be doing. When it comes to our environment, we should be doing everything possible in an attempt to save it, because soon the chance for saving it will disappear.
Many conservatives like to list the environment low in their priorities, and even make the claim that global warming is not real — something Donald Trump has said many times before. They choose to ignore scientific fact because it’s something they’d rather not deal with.
This was exemplified when Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement earlier in his presidency, and when he attempted to open up the entire Eastern Seaboard for oil drilling. And these new turns of events in policy just add to the growing list of harmful environmental policies.
Lowering emissions standards will only speed up the process of global warming because emissions from cars and trucks are one of the biggest greenhouse gas contributors. It’s scientifically proven that we have contributed to the warming of our planet through producing these greenhouse gases.
Saving the environment should be one of the top priorities in our country right now, and to argue for these policies of deregulation is to argue against that. It is our Earth we are talking about here, and right now there is only one. We cannot afford this deregulation because we cannot afford to lose our home.
Cities in America are already experiencing the effects of global warming. One example would be the effects of rising ocean levels due to warmer waters and melting ice caps. This is threatening coastal cities such as Miami, which is experiencing flooding much more often these days, and has spent millions on mitigation attempts.
Parts of other cities like New York and Boston are predicted to be underwater in a few decades time due to these rising sea levels. Many people are not aware of how close we are to being severely affected by global warming. They aren’t aware about the potential for millions of people to be displaced and the widespread damage that might take place in these cities.
Moves such as deregulating the EPA and pulling out of the Paris Agreement are not going to help the dire situation we are facing. In fact, this will only make things worse. Car emission standards were not put into place to make life easier, but to ensure that we had a planet to live on for 100 years.
The Trump administration’s stance on environmental policy seriously scares me, and if this continues on for three more years, our planet may be in an even scarier situation. In the short-term, these deregulatory actions may benefit some people, but no one will be benefiting in the long-run if our planet is dying and we can no longer inhabit it.
Republicans need to take a look at reality and science so they can realize the collapse of our planet is unavoidable. Our actions will catch up to us, and there is no logical argument that says otherwise. To continue down the path the Trump administration has put us on is to continue down the path of destruction for our planet.