Trump rolls back en­vi­ron­men­tal stance

Antelope Valley Press - - OPINION -

On Dec. 21, it was an­nounced that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was rolling back 95 en­vi­ron­men­tal rules.

By that date, 58 roll­backs had been com­pleted and 37 were in progress.

Fast for­ward to Thurs­day, when a re­porter asked the pres­i­dent about his po­si­tion on global warm­ing “Did he still con­sider it a hoax, as he’d re­peat­edly in­di­cated be­fore run­ning for pres­i­dent?”

Trump’s back-flip re­ply was “no, not at all. Nothing’s a hoax. Nothing’s a hoax about that. It’s a very se­ri­ous sub­ject.”

Philip Bump, a sea­soned re­porter for the New York Times, wrote “Then ev­ery­thing went side­ways.”

Here’s how Trump con­tin­ued. “I want clean air,” he said. “I want clean water I want the clean­est air, want the clean­est water. The en­vi­ron­ment is very im­por­tant to me. Some­body wrote a book that I’m an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist and ac­tu­ally called, ‘The En­vi­ron­men­tal­ist,’ be­fore I did this. But they wrote a book. I’d like to get it. I have it in the other of­fice. I’ll bring it to my next news con­fer­ence, per­haps.

I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to see it. I’m sure you’ll re­port all about it.”

He added, “I also want jobs, though. I don’t want to close up our in­dus­try be­cause some­body said, you know, you have to go with wind or you have to go with some­thing else that’s not go­ing to be able to have the ca­pac­ity to do what we have to do. We have the best em­ploy­ment num­bers we’ve ever had. We have the best un­em­ploy­ment num­bers we’ve ever had. So that’s very im­por­tant.”

Bump wrote that “Trump of­ten talks about ‘the en­vi­ron­ment’ in terms of clean air and water, as though he’s a 1974 pub­lic-ser­vice an­nounce­ment airing on your lo­cal CBS af­fil­i­ate. Global warm­ing is only about ‘clean air’ in the sense that warm­ing is caused by the unchecked re­lease of gases like car­bon diox­ide and meth­ane into the at­mos­phere and it’s only about ‘clean water’ in the sense that in­creased sat­u­ra­tion of car­bon diox­ide in ocean water is mak­ing that water more acidic. But there’s ab­so­lutely no rea­son to as­sume that this is the con­text in which Trump’s us­ing that phras­ing.”

Some­times it’s hard to un­der­stand what the pres­i­dent thinks about im­por­tant is­sues in this new year.

His 180-de­gree turns may be the best in­di­ca­tor of his lat­est mind set.

Trump’s ef­forts to roll back 95 en­vi­ron­men­tal rules may have un­der­gone pres­i­den­tial change as we en­tered 2020.

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