Tracking the Environmental Policies of the Trump Administration >>
News from Ground Control: Planet Trump (Jan. 27)
As President Trump’s first week in office comes to an end, a number of startling decisions that could have serious implications for public health and the environment have already come out of the White House.
Here are several of this week’s top stories on the new president’s decisions, including his worrisome media blackouts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency.
Washington Post, Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin (Jan. 24, 2017) Federal Agencies Ordered to Restrict Communications
Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement that the new restrictions were significant cause for concern.
“Vladimir Putin must be proud,” Cook said. “The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what’s being done to protect or harm public health and the environment. Americans of all political stripes should be furious.”
Newsweek, Jessica Wapner (Jan. 24, 2017) Trump Freezes Grants, Approves Pipelines and Considers Sharp Budget Cuts at the EPA
Picking up a line from Trump’s inaugural address, the Environmental Working Group was quick to speak out against “the carnage President Trump is about to unleash on the environment, public health and the integrity of science itself,” said EWG’s president Ken Cook. The memo, said Cook, details how the new administration “will push to undo important safeguards that in many cases literally save lives.”
Huffington Post, Joseph Erbentraut (Jan. 23, 2017) Trump’s Pick for Agriculture Secretary is a Climate Denier, Too
“Everything we know about Sonny Perdue shows he’s going to put the interests of big commercial farmers, farm lobbyists and farm chemical companies ahead of the interests of small farmers and public health,” Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, said Friday by phone.
“There’s nothing in his record to suggest he will stand up for small family farmers and the environment when Big Ag is asking for the USDA to intervene on their behalf,” Faber added.
InsideClimate News, Georgina Gustin (Jan. 26, 2017) EPA Pick Pruitt Abandoned Environmental Protections in Oklahoma, Lawyers Say
Pruitt, who assumed the attorney general's post in 2011, has failed to pursue a 2005 lawsuit filed by his predecessor against Tyson Foods and a dozen other poultry companies, accusing them of polluting the scenic Illinois River in the northeastern part of the state. The Environmental Working Group, after taking a dive into campaign finance records, revealed that executives and lawyers for those companies gave more than $40,000 to Pruitt's 2010 election campaign.
Associated Press, Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein (Jan. 27, 2017) Official: Trump Wants to Slash EPA Workforce, Budget
Washington Post, Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin (Jan. 24, 2017) Trump Administration Tells EPA to Freeze All Grants, Contracts
Associated Press, Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein (Jan. 26, 2017) EPA Science Under Scrutiny by Trump Political Staff
VICE News, Alex Swerdloff (Jan. 26, 2017) What Would Censorship of the USDA Mean for America?
Vox, Brad Plumer (Jan. 27, 2017) What the Hell is Going on at the EPA Right Now?