Environment

Trump Told Confidants U.S. Will Leave Paris Accord

“President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change,” Axios reports.

“Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could to do unravel Obama’s climate policies. It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn’t a priority to the Trump administration. And pulling out threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal, given how integral former President Obama was in making it come together in the first place.”

GOP Senators Urge Trump to Exit Paris Climate Deal

“A group of 22 heavyweight Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are sending a letter to President Trump today urging him to make a clean exit from the Paris Agreement to combat climate change,” Axios reports.

“The letter applauds Trump for beginning the process of unwinding Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations, but says that goal is imperiled if he decides to remain in the Paris climate change deal.”

Trump EPA Transition Chief Laments Slow Progress

“The man who led President Trump’s transition team for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Myron Ebell, told a conservative conference last month that the new administration is moving too slowly to unravel climate change regulations,” Reuters reports.

“Ebell said Trump’s administration had made a series of missteps, including delays in appointing key EPA officials, that could hamper efforts to cut red tape for industry.”

Said Ebell: “This is an impending disaster for the Trump administration.”

Trump Will Undo Much of Obama’s Climate Legacy

President Trump “will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions,” the Washington Post reports.

“The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions. The order sends an unmistakable signal that just as President Barack Obama sought to weave climate considerations into every aspect of the federal government, Trump is hoping to rip that approach out by its roots.”

Even Deeper Cuts Planned for EPA

“The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t fighting the White House’s initial budget that proposes to cut the agency’s budget by about $2 billion — or roughly 25% — and reduce the agency’s workforce by roughly 3,000 employees,” according to Axios.

“Climate change programs would be gutted under the proposal and the workforce attached to these programs would be cleared out of the agency — in line with the aggressive vision of EPA transition head Myron Ebell.”

Pruitt Says CO2 Doesn’t Add Much to Climate Change

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told CNBC that he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

Said Pruitt: “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Pruitt’s view is at odds with the opinion of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Trump Budget Would Slash Climate Science Agency

“The Trump administration is seeking to slash one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs,” according to a four-page budget memo obtained by the Washington Post.

“The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and ‘coastal resilience,’ which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.”

Trump Wants to Cut EPA Budget By 20%

“The White House has proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget that would reduce the agency’s staff by one-fifth in the first year and eliminate dozens of programs,” according to details of a plan reviewed by the Washington Post.

“While administration officials had already indicated that they intended to increase defense spending at the expense of other discretionary funding, the plan spells out exactly how this new approach will affect long- standing federal programs that have a direct impact on Americans’ everyday lives.”

Trump Will Roll Back Climate, Water Rules

President Trump “is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution,” the Washington Post reports.

“While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards.”

EPA Employees Trying to Block Pruitt

“Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been calling their senators to urge them to vote on Friday against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s contentious nominee to run the agency, a remarkable display of activism and defiance that presages turbulent times ahead for the EPA,” the New York Times reports.

“Many of the scientists, environmental lawyers and policy experts who work in E.P.A. offices around the country say the calls are a last resort for workers who fear a nominee selected to run an agency he has made a career out of fighting — by a president who has vowed to ‘get rid of’ it.”

Steyer Expands Focus to Take on Trump

Tom Steyer “will expand the focus of his environmental political advocacy group, NextGen Climate Action, to fund initiatives and candidates with an eye to issues well beyond the realm of climate change,” BuzzFeed reports.

“The 59-year-old Steyer, a San Francisco hedge fund manager and possible contender for next year’s California governor’s race, said he made the decision to broaden his reach in response to Trump and to a legislative agenda he described as ‘deplorable’ and ‘a barrage against the basic fabric of American society.'”