Four Former EPA Chiefs Endorse Biden, Denounce Trump

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer

This week, four former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrators, two of whom served under Republican presidents, sharply criticized the Trump administration’s environmental policy as well as current EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler’s leadership. 

Among their criticism are assertions that Trump’s EPA has waged a “war on science” and that it has allowed political gain to drive its agenda. These criticisms came just hours after Wheeler claimed that the agency had done “more in the first four years of the Trump administration to improve the environment than probably any administration.” Emphasizing how critical the upcoming election will be for the environment, the four also endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, praising his climate plan which aims to achieve  a net-zero economy before 2050.

Why This Matters: The former EPA administrators have long been vocally criticizing the Trump administration by writing letters and testifying before lawmakers. These new criticisms from the group, who ran the EPA for over a quarter-century, come with a presidential endorsement, a part of an unprecedented wave of former aides and cabinet members now endorsing Biden. 

As climate change takes on a growing role for voters in the 2020 election, the Trump administration is desperately attempting to soften its image on climate change–but voters (even swing voters) and former EPA officials aren’t buying it. 

However, the Trump administration has continued its mass rollbacks of Obama-era environmental policies and has continued to favor the fossil fuel industry. Wheeler attempted to spin these rollbacks as a solution to protect both businesses and the environment, but analysis shows that they would result in hundreds of millions of tons in harmful emissions

 

No Hiding the Trump Legacy: “I’ve never seen an administration that actually seems to me to have a war against the environment and a war on science,” said Christine Todd Whitman a former Republican governor who ran the EPA under George W. Bush. Todd Whitman, in a call set up by the Biden campaign, accused the EPA of turning its back on its “very simple” mission to protect human health and the environment. In 2017, Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement which the US is set to officially leave the day after the 2020 election. 

Trump has downplayed and even outright denied climate change throughout his presidency, most recently rejecting climate change as a cause of California’s wildfires stating, “I don’t think science knows.” William Reilly, another Republican who ran the EPA under George H.W. Bush, repeated Todd Whitman’s sentiments saying that, when it comes to the environment, nothing in the last 50 years has come close to the “dereliction that characterizes this administration.”

Alongside this harsh criticism, however, comes an urgent call to action. “We need to reconcile the environmental protection with the economic aspirations that we have,” Reilly says, and the four former chiefs believe Biden is the man to do that.

President Obama’s second EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, describes Biden’s plan as “the boldest in its ambition and urgency of any that any president has ever outlined” citing its focus on putting clean energy forward as a tool for environmental justice and job creation for everyone.

Todd Whitman agrees, “Clean air, clean water — these are things that don’t respect Republican or Democrat lines, red states or blue states. We all should care about it.”

 

 

 

 

 

Up Next

You Know What’s REALLY Scary? Another Four Years of Trump

You Know What’s REALLY Scary? Another Four Years of Trump

It’s Halloween — a time when people think scaring each other is fun. But this year, we are afraid very, very afraid — of what might happen on global warming and the environment in the United States if Donald Trump, the Freddie Krueger of climate action and conservation, wins a second term in the election. Talk about a Nightmare on Elm Street.

It’s frightening to think about what our country will look like after four more years of Trump.  But in the spirit of the season, let’s try to picture it.

Continue Reading 954 words
At The Last Debate, Biden Presents a Green Vision While Trump Flails With Rhetoric

At The Last Debate, Biden Presents a Green Vision While Trump Flails With Rhetoric

Last night was the last time voters would get to see both 2020 presidential candidates on stage together before they head to the polls. This time around moderator, NBC News’ Kristen Welker, picked climate change as a category in advance and began her questions by asking how each candidate would address climate change while also […]

Continue Reading 512 words
Will Suburban Women Send Trump on His Way?

Will Suburban Women Send Trump on His Way?

Instead of focusing on the clean water countless Americans lack, the President has been fixated on shower pressure. Speaking at campaign events over the past week, President Trump claimed that the water and energy conservation measures he’s worked to overturn somehow hinder women from washing their hair and keeping it beautiful.  If suburban women truly […]

Continue Reading 111 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.