Trump’s environmental record should be impeachable: Sierra Club

Dec 23, 2019 by / True Jersey

By Jeff Tittel

The Sierra Club has come out in support of the impeachment and removal of President Trump from office. We have never before called for the impeachment or removal of a sitting President, but Trump’s abuse of power and disregard for the law has undermined our democracy.

He has violated his oath of office and his behavior when it comes to the environment is even more reckless – he has deliberately ignored laws and trying to destroy important environmental institutions. President Trump has declared war on the environment. He unilaterally pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, called climate change a hoax, and has muzzled scientists while trying to compromise 50 years of environmental progress.

He is exploiting our public lands while attempting to roll back 85 environmental regulations including the Environmental Species Act and lightbulb standards, and is allowing banned toxic chemicals and pesticides back on the market. He has stacked government agencies with industry lobbyists like EPA’s Andrew Wheeler. Trump’s lawlessness and disregard for institutions is putting our environment and safety at risk.

Donald Trump is trying to privatize our parks and open up public lands and coasts for mining and drilling. His administration has eliminated the plastic bottle ban in National Parks and allowed semi-automatic weapons into our parks. He has tried to lift restrictions in areas like the Tongass National Forest and Bears Ears and is even pushing uranium mining in areas around the Grand Canyon. By turning parks over to special interests and polluting our air, he is putting our national treasures at risk.

Some say that Trump’s tweets make them sick, but it is actually his environmental policies. His EPA’s studies have shown that rolling back the Clean Power Plan would lead to over 1,400 premature deaths and 40,000 cases of asthma each year and freezing CAFE standards would result in 41,000 deaths and 1.67 million cases of asthma over a decade.

Trump has diminished lead reduction programs, refused to set standards for dozens of toxic chemicals like PFOAS in our drinking water, and failed to completely clean up Superfund sites and deal with the climate impacts to these sites. He won’t enforce the Lautenberg Act and is constantly siding with industry over public safety, playing Russian Roulette with our environment and our health.

Trump’s actions are not going unchecked. Sierra Club and others are suing on close to 37 rules he is trying to weaken, from Waters of the United States to coal ash to offshore drilling. We are also fighting the administration for hiding scientific reports, holding private meetings with lobbyists, and the border wall as well as challenging permits for projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline, LNG terminals, and clean power plants.

The Obama Administration banned chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide known to cause cancer in children, but Trump lifted the ban after receiving a $1 million contribution from a Dow Chemical executive. Even though we won the suit against him, Trump is still keeping chlorpyrifos on the market. His disregard for the law and the environment is creating irreversible damage.

Recent reports from UN and IPCC show that we are in a climate crisis that is only getting worse. As Trump undercuts climate and environmental protections, New Jersey must step up to do more. The state is suing on some issues, but that is not enough. We need to follow other states like Illinois and Washington and pass legislation, like S3277, which would block New Jersey from being impacted from federal rollbacks.

We need to not only get rid of Christie’s rollbacks on environmental rules but also move forward on protecting New Jersey from climate impacts and sea level rise by regulating greenhouse gases and getting to 100% renewable energy. Basically, we need to build a green wall around our state.

What he is doing to the environment is a high crime and worse than a misdemeanor. Flooding, sea-level rise, and other climate impacts are getting worse, and blocking the U.S. from moving forward will leave a legacy of destruction.

He is clearly the worst president in history when it comes to the environment. He has tried to destroy the EPA, ignored or violated environmental laws, and put public health at risk. He has stifled new technologies and jobs in green industries, and his rollbacks are endangering public health and increasing health costs.

No matter what happens in Washington, we need to fight to Make America Green Again.

Jeff Tittel is director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

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