Read This: The NY Times Editorial Board On Reversing Trump’s Environmental Damage

Photo: Monica Medina of the Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Yesterday, in a full-page editorial, The New York Times stated that if elected, Joe Biden could reverse much of the damage caused by the Trump Administration’s effort to weaken environmental laws and policies, and their enforcement, but to do it will take a great deal of work.

In key part, the editorial board said,

“The courts have already intervened to limit some of the damage; a new president, with a favorable Congress, can do much more. This will take patience and discipline. Mr. Trump has left the country’s environmental policies in wreckage. Most of that destruction has been in service of a misbegotten strategy of “energy dominance” that emphasized the production of more and more fossil fuels at a time when mainstream science — and the fires, floods, hurricanes and other evidence before our eyes — insisted that what we need is less of them.”

They summarized Vice President Biden’s proposal as a “sprawling $2 trillion plan to tackle climate change with ambitious deadlines, a more measured approach to drilling on public lands (he’d leave the Arctic alone) and big investments in energy efficient buildings, clean fuels and clean cars.”  They also noted with approval that Biden’s proposal represents “a wholly different mind-set toward the relationship between humans and the natural world … a new and welcome environmental ethic in the Oval Office.”

Why This Matters:  It is significant that Vice President Biden — by naming climate change as a crisis on par with the others facing the nation, namely the COVID pandemic, the economic devastation it spawned, and the fight for racial justice, he has made it one of THE issues in this fall’s presidential campaign.  The Republicans at their convention are likely to make a few passing references to the President’s alleged clean air and clean water achievements, but they will have little if anything to back them up. The environment —  clean air, land, and water, and combatting climate change — is popular with Democrats and Republicans, and the Trump Administration’s failures should continue to be a key point for Biden to drive home through November’s election.

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