Environmentalists may be glad that President-elect Trump still plans to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade pact between governments with Pacific Ocean frontage which would throw many domestic environmental rules under the bus for the sake of opening up more trade with major Asian economies.
But there is little else that greens can be thankful for in Trump’s recent announcement about his goals for his first 100 days in office. In a video released earlier this week, Trump vowed to focus immediately on cancelling “job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal” and create “many millions of high-paying jobs.”
For starters, Trump is still talking about rescinding the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, which includes U.S. participation in the global Paris climate accord and cutting back emissions on the nation’s fossil-fuel-based power plants through the Clean Power Plan. Also, the president-elect wants to get right on overturning the Obama administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule which would restrict development in wetlands and riparian zones. More bad news for environmentalists: Trump is prioritizing lifting the Obama administration’s moratorium on off-shore drilling in the Atlantic, and has asked Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline which would bring petroleum from Canadian oil sands and fracking operations through the U.S. for distribution from the Gulf of Mexico.
While Trump has plenty of other goals for his four year term, the transition team is focusing on hitting the ground running with these immediate plans since they can be carried out without Congressional approval. Environmentalists’ only recourse may be drumming up public support for the environmental standards the Obama administration fought so hard to establish, given that Trump has promised to represent all Americans. But don’t hold your breath.