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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Andrew Wheeler appeared at the Nixon Presidential Library in California last week and outlined his vision for a second Trump term — with promises to continue efforts to undermine agency science and climate change regulation. He argued the science of the agency should be more transparent — but failed to explain that the rule would mean that patient studies would not be used by the agency unless patient privacy was compromised. Wheeler also criticized California Gov. Gavin Newsom without mentioning his name — accusing the state of having “many examples of poor environmental outcomes.” Finally, he accused prior Administrations of putting other countries’ interests ahead of America’s in a clear slap at the Obama Administration and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Why This Matters: Wheeler claimed that he would focus on environmental justice and “revitalizing minority communities” while also explaining that “strict enforcement of national air pollution rules had hampered struggling regions such as the industrial Midwest.” But he cannot have it both ways — the lack of enforcement of pollution rules hurts Black and brown communities. Not to mention the gall of criticizing prior climate rules the Trump Administration rolled back while Californians struggle through a brutal heatwave and devastating wildfires that are made much worse by climate change.
Prior Administrators Critical Of EPA
As The Hill explained, in a recent letter on the 50th anniversary of the agency, several former EPA administrators who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations said that under current leadership the agency is abandoning its mission and needs revitalization. A group of 500 “alums” of the EPA wrote a report accompanying the letter and the report contained a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations for setting new directions at EPA. Wheeler criticized the report.
“’unfortunately, in the past decade or so, some members of former administrations and progressives in Congress have elevated single-issue advocacy — in many cases focused just on climate change — to virtue-signal to foreign capitals, over the interests of communities within their own country,’ Wheeler said, in a reference to the Paris climate accord, the international agreement to limit greenhouse gases, from which Trump plans to withdraw the United States in November.”
“The actions over the last four years by Trump’s EPA has put lives in all communities at risk but especially our most vulnerable communities. Their decisions to weaken and rollback basic air and water protections increase chronic medical conditions, expand sacrifice zones across our country, increase susceptibility to Covid-19 send a clear message that the lives of Black, Brown and Indigenous lives have little value to the current administration.”
Yesterday, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators met with President Biden to reach a deal on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure framework. The bulk of the funds will be put toward transportation and “traditional” infrastructure such as bridges, roads, transit systems, and passenger rail. The remainder of the funds will be spent on other infrastructure such […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer More than three years after Hurricane Harvey, officials are still clashing over how to disperse aid. In the first $1 billion round of support, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush made some questionable calculations, leaving the hardest-hit communities in its most populous city without a penny in federal aid according to the […]
It’s spring in Paris, they are still struggling with COVID, and yet thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and numerous other French cities to protest climate change. The French legislature is considering a law to impose tougher measures to combat climate change, but many believe the proposals are not sufficient and so they staged marches in Nancy, Toulouse, Rennes, Lyon, Grenoble, as seen in social media posts.
Why This Matters: Because of the Paris Agreement, France is associated with climate change progress.
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