Trump never was much for the environment. The man who calls global warming a Chinese hoax and questions the existence of California's drought has made it clear that he has better things to do than worry about his Florida properties going underwater. But today, we got a little more insight into the environment nightmare that awaits us should this toupeed corndog assume the Oval Office next year. And it's terrifying. Image: Getty
In a fact-sheet released alongside an economic speech he gave today, Trump specifically promised to cleanse America of three things: The EPA's Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Rule and ground-level ozone regulation. Each of these environmental policies was introduced by the Obama administration with the aim of making the air a bit safer to breathe, the water a bit safer to drink and our planet a bit safer for future generations of humans to live on.
The Clean Power Plan, which is currently in judicial limbo, would compel US power plants to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The Clean Water Rule restricts how land near waterways can be used in the US, with the aim of preventing more rivers from turning bright orange with acid mine tailings, for instance. Finally, the EPA recently tightened its ground-level ozone standards to a maximum of 70 parts per billion, after making a scientific determination that this is the safe upper limit for human exposure. (Ground-level ozone is associated with numerous respiratory diseases, including asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.)
None of these regulations is exactly radical — but getting all three would be. Protecting America's air and water has been the bread and butter of the EPA since its inception. Abolishment of the Clean Power Plan would leave the United States with no policy path toward meeting the climate commitment it made in Paris last year. And if America backs out of the Paris Agreement, you can bet the rest of the world will jump ship, too.
Don't worry about any of that, says Trump. Per his campaign's latest fact sheet, your future leader will "unleash an energy revolution" by bringing back coal, expanding hydraulic fracturing and opening up "vast areas" of the ocean to offshore oil and gas production. It's going to be great.