Coming from the man who tweeted that ‘the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive, the president elect’s one hundred day plan comes as no surprise. Soon after the announcement of his win, Donald Trump released an itinerary of things he would accomplish withing his first one hundred days in office. While it remains to be seen whether he actually will accomplish these things, it is positively frightening to see his policies on the environment and all of the progress he could potentially undo.
Global Warming Denialism has plagued the Republican party long enough that it’s not a secret. It’s unfortunate that many who have recently just won positions in office share this view, and therefore will not be able to speak for the many people in this country who do believe in it and care about it. There are three major things in the Plan that are worrisome for the environmentally conscious.
First, Trump wishes to ‘lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.’ Second he wishes to ‘lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.’ Third he wishes to ‘cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.’
It’s not hard to guess why these three things are terrible for the environment. Burning fossil fuels has never been a good idea, and the ‘roadblocks’ Trump claims are there because President Obama wouldn’t approve the Pipeline unless he had enough data on the environmental impact of it. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encouraged President Obama not to approve the pipeline. There is evidence that the Pipeline could escalate carbon emissions. Once in place, the pipeline could lead to a heavy dependence on fossil fuels in the states surrounding it. Looking for cleaner energy alternatives will not feel as necessary. The tar sands also projected to exist in this project also can lead to higher carbon emissions.
Probably the most unfortunate part of Trump’s plan is to cancel the U.N Climate change program payments. While fixing Americas water and infrastructure is good, by ceasing to contribute to a unified interest in protecting the Earth, we lose the gumption to keep trying. We have lead the fight in combating climate change, and under this new administration we face the strong possibility that other countries will be doing what we can while we ignore the problem. This news is deeply disturbing, and it is unclear whether these things will actually happen, or if it is just talk. As an American citizen however, it is important to make your voice heard so our leaders know where we stand.