Trump Gets Erased Again With Reversal Of Environmental Policy


The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is revoking a Trump era regulation that “imposed procedural restrictions and other requirements that would have limited EPA’s ability to use the best available science in developing regulations under the Clean Air Act,” as summarized by ABC, reporting on conclusions from the Environmental Protection Administration. With the Trump era rule gone, it will now be “easier to enact limits on dangerous and climate-changing emissions,” ABC adds, recapping the Biden administration’s conclusions.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a Biden pick, noted that federal authorities have “critical authority under the Clean Air Act to protect the public from harmful air pollution, among other threats to our health,” but the Trump era rule that is now getting replaced impeded the ability of the federal government to exercise that authority. Regan added that officials “will continue to fix the wrongs of the past and move forward aggressively” on safeguarding public health and the environment. Biden had previously directed the EPA in an early executive order to review “all” actions from the Trump administration, ABC notes.

The Trump era rule that is getting replaced covered how the EPA conducts cost-benefit analyses regarding proposed environmental regulations. The original measure “discounted or undervalued the public health benefits of regulatory action, compared with compliance costs for business,” as ABC summarizes remarks from environmental attorney Hayden Hashimoto, and undervaluing potential public health benefits from a prospective environmental regulation could obviously pave the way for business interests to win out.

As Hashimoto put it:

‘EPA’s action is an important step toward clearing away another Trump midnight rule that put a finger on the scale to favor industry concerns over public protections in Clean Air Act rules.’

The Trump administration had orchestrated federal regulations so that public health benefits from removing one pollutant as a result of targeting another pollutant were left out of federal authorities’ calculations. As American Lung Association president and CEO Harold Wimmer put it:

‘Lives saved from reducing a certain pollutant as a result of steps taken to clean up another pollutant aren’t any less real or valuable. We thank EPA for taking this step to rescind this harmful rule.’

Throughout its time in power, the Trump administration consistently prioritized the interests of big business over critical public health and environmental protection concerns.