President Donald Trump commemorated Earth Day on Sunday by applauding his administration’s efforts to roll back key environmental protections.
Trump stressed the importance of preserving the “life-sustaining gifts” of “our magnificent land and waterways, abundant natural resources, and unique wildlife” in a White House statement released Sunday.
“It is our responsibility to protect them for our own benefit and that of generations to come,” Trump said in the statement, before praising his administration for repealing regulations meant to do just that.
“We know that it is impossible for humans to flourish without clean air, land, and water,” according to the statement. “We also know that a strong, market-driven economy is essential to protecting these resources. For this reason, my Administration is dedicated to removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth and make it more difficult for local communities to prosper and to choose the best solutions for their environment.”
With climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt as the president’s appointed leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Trump administration has taken a hatchet to progressive, Obama-era environmental regulations.
Pruitt outlined plans earlier this month to gut landmark fuel standards for vehicles that were designed to reduce carbon emissions, the nation’s top source of greenhouse gas pollution. The Trump administration in January proposed a plan to massively expand offshore drilling and opened up millions of acres of previously protected public land to fossil fuel developers.
In June 2017, Trump delivered a major blow to the fight against global warming by announcing the United States will pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Despite what many activists consider to be the administration’s unprecedented assault on environmental protections, Trump called on Americans to “give thanks for the environment we share, protect, and call home.”
“Americans embrace the idea of enjoying nature in a responsible fashion, while preserving the blessings of the land for future generations,” he said in the statement. “My Administration is committed to furthering this rich legacy of conservation.”
Some Twitter users took note of the apparent hypocrisy:
Am I following correctly -eliminating regulations that prevent water contamination will create jobs that contaminate the water and those jobs will protect the water from contamination?
– Nick Arthur (@NarthurD) April 22, 2018
So, Trump’s Earth Day message is, essentially, “damn the Earth; full speed ahead!”
– Joel Klebanoff (@JoelKlebanoff) April 22, 2018
I’m still wondering how removing regulations designed to protect the environment is good for the waterways, natural resources and wildlife. The removal of these regulations is merely a licence for big business to profit from invading and despoiling all of the above.
– Werner Ott (@kapboy59) April 22, 2018
Your comments @realDonaldTrump are the antithesis of what Earth Day is about.
– Jeff Miller (@blackhawks1114) April 22, 2018