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Trump to Attempt to Greenhouse Gaslight Public on His Record of Dirtier Air and Dirtier Water

WASHINGTON - Today, Donald Trump will reportedly try to defy reality by attempting to greenwash his toxic record on air and water issues. Elected as the only head of state in the world to refuse to accept climate science, Donald Trump has quickly established the worst record on the environment and climate action of any president in the history of the country. Following considerable progress under the previous Administration curbing pollution and tackling the climate crisis, Trump has attempted to throw out, roll back, undermine and scrap nearly every clean air, clean water, and climate safeguard on the books, rolled out deadly new policies to help corporate polluters, and remains the only world leader to attempt to withdraw from the historic Paris Climate Agreement. 

In response to the news of Trump’s speech, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“Donald Trump is resorting to greenhouse gaslighting the public to try and cover-up the fact that he is the worst president in history for the environment, climate and public health. Trump’s relentless attacks on our clean air, clean water, climate and public lands threaten the health and safety of millions of Americans and no speech he gives can ever change the reality of his actions.”

In a nod to the dirtier air, dirtier water, and dirtier politics that would result from Trump Administration proposals, today’s speech is coming just days after the one-year anniversary of the disgraceful resignation of Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who Trump ultimately replaced with beleaguered coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler. As Trump seeks to greenhouse gaslight the nation on his environmental and climate record, here’s just a few of the deadly lowlights from his Administration on these key issues:

Dirtier Air

Trump...

  • Saw U.S. air quality drop “after years of improvement,” with more polluted air days each year in Trump’s first two years in office than in the previous four years, according to Associated Press analysis.
  • Scrapped landmark protections from methane pollution, seeking to allow the dangerous pollutant to contaminate our air without limit.
  • Weakend policies to protect vulnerable Americans from deadly smog pollution that contributes to dirtier air and leads to asthma attacks and heart attacks.
  • Threw out the Clean Power Plan and replaced it with a rollback that would result in air pollution causing the death of 1,400 Americans per year and spur 120,000 additional asthma attacks.
  • Attempted to undermine Clean Car Standards, putting more than 43% percent of the population -- those who already live in counties that have monitored unhealthy ozone and/or particle pollution -- at increased health risk because of dirtier air.

Dirtier Water

Trump...

  • Attacked the Clean Water Rule, sacrificing drinking water sources for one-third of Americans to the pollution from the fossil fuel industry and other sources.
  • Rolled back safeguards on coal ash pollution, threatening drinking water sources with toxic coal waste leaks and spills.
  • Attempted to approve the widely-opposed Keystone XL -- which still faces significant legal obstacles -- and Dakota Access fossil fuel pipelines, threatening water sources across the country.
  • Threw out National Environmental Policy Act provisions that ensure fossil fuel projects and infrastructure plans do not threaten clean air, clean water, and a stable climate. 

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Endangered Public Lands and Waters

Trump…

  • Is the only president ever to shrink the amount of federally protected public lands when he sought to rescind protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments
  • Pushed to open up nearly all American coastal waters to dangerous oil and gas drilling.
  • After seeking to slash funding for our national parks, stole funds appropriated for addressing the $12 billion backlog for his July 4th circus event.

Dirtier Politics

Trump...

  • Appointed Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator. Pruitt resigned amid numerous scandals tied to abuse of authority, waste of taxpayer dollars, and cozy relations with corporate polluter lobbyists.
  • Appointed Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior. Zinke resigned amid numerous scandals tied to abuse of authority, waste of taxpayer dollars, and cozy relations with corporate polluter lobbyists.
  • Appointed Andrew Wheeler as EPA Administrator who in his first 100 days as acting Administrator harmed the environment and public health on average every three days.
  • Appointed David Bernhardt as Director of the Department of Interior who has continued selling out our public lands to polluters while seeking to re-write FOIA rules to conceal his actions 
  • Attempted to provide billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts to coal executives.

Deadly Policies and a Dangerous Climate

Trump...

  • Threw out the Clean Power Plan’s first ever limits on climate-crisis fuelling carbon pollution from power plants.
  • Announced plans to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Targeted Clean Cars Standards for rollback, undermining one of the most significant climate action policies in history and undoing plans to double fuel economy by 2025.
  • Attempted to change the way federal agencies count the deaths and health effects of his policy rollbacks.
  • Continuously refused to acknowledge the climate crisis and oversaw the creation of a panel on climate science led by a man who compared previously said that "the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler." 

The public won’t be fooled by Trump’s attempts to greenlight gaslight the world. His deadly record speaks far louder than his rhetoric ever will:

  • He entered office as the only leader in the world who denies the climate crisis.
  • He is the only president ever to decrease the amount of federally protected lands and waters.
  • He is the only world leader to seek to leave the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.
  • He is the worst President for our environment and our climate in the history of the United States.
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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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