In the age of President Donald Trump, protecting the environment has become a partisan issue. As the Trump administration plans to at least try and roll back Obama era standards for gas mileage on cars, a full 23 governors from across the United States have joined with California’s already formulated plan to stick with the standards. Demanding better gas mileage would help cut down on the level of carbon emissions sent into the atmosphere, which contribute to global warming — although depending on the Republican you ask, you might find that the GOP still refuses to believe climate change is even a thing.
Even still, the 23 mostly all Democratic governors and California Governor Gavin Newsom himself signed a pledge asserting:
‘We will not compromise on our responsibility to protect the health of our communities, our climate, and the savings consumers stand to gain at the pump. We will continue to pursue additional concrete actions to fulfill this duty and defend against any threats.’
The Trump administration has cited price and demand concerns in their efforts to relax the mileage standards, claiming that automobile prices will go up and people will be therefore be unable to actually get a new automobile and supposedly less safe vehicles will be on the road for longer than necessary. The Associated Press notes that engineers have challenged the Trump administration’s claims.
This case is not the first in which individual states have taken steps to thwart the Trump administration’s plans to roll back environmental protection. When he was still in office, now former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel led a gathering of leaders who committed to following the tenets of the Paris climate accord following the president deciding to withdraw the United States from the agreement, which had been signed by almost every country on earth and laid out a framework for reducing carbon emissions.
In the time since, Trump has sought to take credit for supposedly strengthening protection of the environment in the United States — but that just doesn’t reflect the actual situation. He’s not the one to have invented something like forest management, and in reality, former head of EPA’s air office Janet McCabe shares:
‘There is almost no proposed or final rule that has come out of the Trump EPA that will provide greater protection to public health, and many that would allow increases in air pollution, small or large.’
Besides the planned rollback of standards for vehicle efficiency, Trump has also slashed environmental protection through means like shrinking the amount of emissions demanded to be cut from coal power plants and eliminating federal oversight of some smaller waterways across the United States. During the campaign season ahead of his eventual surprise victory, Trump pledged to turn the Environmental Protection Agency to “little bits,” and he seems to be at least trying to make good on that promise. Amazingly, this is already having apparent negative effects, because in 2018 after hitting a 25 year low, greenhouse gas emissions in the United States went up by as much as 2.5 percent.
Featured Image via screenshot