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article imageOp-Ed: Trump to recognize his administration's environmental leadership

By Karen Graham     Jul 6, 2019 in Politics
President Donald Trump "plans to go on the offensive against criticism of his industry-friendly rollbacks of environment protections" in an address at the White House next week, according to The Guardian.
After taking office in 2017, President Trump has succeeded in cutting more than 80 environmental regulations, appointed a climate denier to the National Security Council and has given senior administration roles to people who worked for the fossil fuel industry.
Despite his often-voiced denial that humans are heating the planet and endangering themselves, and that climate change is a Chinese hoax, Trump plans to tout America's clean air and water - thanks to his administration's efforts.
It has been confirmed by a White House spokesperson that “The President will deliver remarks at the White House on Monday and recognize his administration’s environmental leadership and America’s role in leading the world.”
There is a method behind Trump's madness, though. The environment and the climate crisis have become key issues for the Democrats in the upcoming presidential campaign, and many Republicans are feeling the pressure from voters across the political spectrum who worry about the planet and public health.
Japan produces more plastic waste per capita than any nation apart from the United States
Japan produces more plastic waste per capita than any nation apart from the United States
Toshifumi KITAMURA, AFP/File
Trump has little or nothing to point to as an achievement he has been responsible for in regards to the environment. I guess he could discuss the US effort to clean up marine debris, much of which is coming from Asia. This would fit in well with the GOP's arguments that developing nations are contributing more to the climate crisis.
But that argument is as stupid as is the president's belief that our air and water have never been cleaner. Here's a factoid for your perusal: The nonprofit group, Health Effects Institute's State of Global Air 2019 report ranked the United States 37th dirtiest out of 195 countries for ozone, also known as smog.
Last month, the Associated Press published an Environmental Protection Agency analysis of U.S. air quality in 2018. Basically, the data showed the U.S. had more days with unhealthy air during the first two years of Trump's term than in the previous four years.
"Pollution is cutting short the lives of millions of people every year " said the world&ap...
"Pollution is cutting short the lives of millions of people every year," said the world's highest-level decision-making forum on environmental issues
According to the EPA data, published in May of this year, "Five hundred and thirty-two American metro areas reported a total of 4,134 days in 2018 when the official air quality index passed 100, which means it is unhealthy for people with heart and lung disease, the elderly and the very young. That’s about 15 percent more bad air days per city than the average for 2013 to 2016, America’s clean air heyday.
While it is true that emissions in the U.S. have declined over time, the last two-year increase in emissions is worrisome, especially in line with the rollback of Obama-era environmental rules. And our water is becoming questionable, with lead, arsenic and other chemicals being found in drinking water around the country.
However, in an off-the-record conference call on Wednesday, the White House reached out to key supporting groups requesting they spread the message that the US under Trump continues to be an environmental leader. The speech is scheduled to air at a 3:30 p.m. event titled Presidential Remarks on America’s Environmental Leadership.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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