This past year, President Trump pulled the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. Scott Pruitt, the head Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, hosted numerous meetings with fossil fuel industries, ignoring attempts from environmental groups to discuss. More recently, Pruitt announced his plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan. National monuments and parks are shrinking under Trump’s thumb. Oil industries have been winning big under him and Pruitt, especially with the passage of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Paris Climate Agreement is crucial to slowing down our rapidly changing climate. Agreed on in 2015, the United States is now the only country not participating in the deal—besides Syria. The agreement was set in place to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and bind the world together as we fight the pressing issue of climate change, something Scott Pruitt does not believe to be caused by humans. While the nation is not officially committed to the deal, other leaders in the U.S., such as mayors and governors, are still working to implement the commitments within their own jurisdictions. But even so, the fact that Trump pulled out on the deal not only hurts the environment, but it shows the rest of the world the internal conflict he is causing in the nation, causing us to appear, and in reality be, weak.
Scott Pruitt may be one of the worst appointments made by the president. In just the 10 short months that Pruitt has been the Administrator of the EPA, he has shown his lack of respect, care, and knowledge for the environment and the future of the nation. By dismantling research projects within the EPA aimed at finding a solution for climate change, he has allowed more funds to be allocated to offshore oil drilling and extracting precious minerals from national parks and monuments, according to The Hill. Pruitt has repeatedly shown the nation that he is neither educated on the issue of climate change nor willing to become so.
As the Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt continuously lead attacks on the EPA, from speeches to lawsuits against the agency. Due to Pruitt’s persuasion, Trump has proposed a 25% budget cut to the EPA, causing hundreds of employees to leave the agency in search of secure jobs. By repealing the Clean Power Plan, Pruitt has demonstrated that he believes the agency should not be regulating emissions. Pruitt is a believer in reducing governmental influences on any aspect of America. The EPA was originally established by President Richard Nixon to regulate and have a hand in the doings of American industries, not to leave them alone.
National Monuments and Native American Reservations
Shrinkage of national parks and monuments under Trump prove his disregard for our natural land and the health of the environment. In just two presidential proclamations, he decreased the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments lands to about 1.25 million acres combined, while they used to total over 3.25 million acres, according to CNN. By shrinking these lands, Trump opens up more land for Pruitt to negotiate drilling rights for big mining and oil industries.
President Obama made numerous steps forward in regards to the environment along with Gina McCarthy, the former Administrator of the EPA. Besides the Paris Climate Agreement, one of Obama’s most successful missions was blocking the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline not only ruins and invades numerous Native American reservations, but also carries the potential to leak and promote the use of nonrenewable resources, according to BBC. By creating the pipeline, the United States is becoming more energy dependent by using Canadian oil increasingly. While the oil production in Northern Alberta is supposedly going to double by 2030, using that oil does not help our struggling environment.
Just because the oil is available, it does not mean that we should use it all up until we are stuck behind with no renewable energy.
Native American tribes and conservation groups are already filing suits against the Trump administration and their crimes committed against the environment. The Trump administration’s reckless behavior is going to harm our grandchildren, children, and even us.