Trump Starts 2020 With a New Bid to Ignore Climate Change

Illustration for article titled Trump Starts 2020 With a New Bid to Ignore Climate Change
Photo: Getty

In its first environmental rollback of the new year, the Trump administration aims to weaken regulations that require federal agencies to consider climate change when assessing the environmental impacts of new infrastructure projects, the New York Times reported Thursday.


The proposed amendments would nullify a mandate from the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that requires government agencies to take the “cumulative” consequences of these projects into account, a government official familiar with the matter told the Times. This includes detailed analyses concerning the long-term effects of letting off additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and what impact rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change could have on a project. These new regulations would also allow more projects to forego this environmental review process entirely as an attempt to streamline the approval process and eliminate hurdles for developers (while also forcing fewer projects to disclose any of their potentially harmful environmental impacts).

The Council on Environmental Quality plans to make 50 odd pages of revisions public on Wednesday, according to the Times. Instead of tackling the policy itself, these amendments would stymie its implementation.


“While the goals of NEPA remain the same as they did 50 years ago, the environmental review process designed to improve decision-making has become increasingly complex and difficult to navigate,” Trump said in a New Year’s Day statement marking the act’s 50th anniversary. He goes on to criticize how project sponsors “face significant uncertainty and delays that can increase costs, derail important projects, and threaten jobs for American workers and labor union members.”

Not coincidentally, a federal court cited an obvious disregard for these “consequential” impacts when it put a stop to the Keystone Pipeline’s construction in 2018. With these proposed amendments, however, such controversial fossil fuel projects would have one less obstacle separating them from government approval.

In short, just another step in the administration’s air-tight plan to ignore the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change away.


[The New York Times]

Gizmodo weekend editor. Freelance games reporter. Full-time disaster bi.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


the 1969 Dodge Charger Guy

Once a completely ignorant shithead, always a completely ignorant shithead...duh.

I wonder if Barack Obama has sleepless nights from what he put into motion—get Trump elected by humiliating the total crap out of Orange Dumbass at the 2011 White House correspondents’ dinner. I’m not kidding. If Obama kept his trap shut during that dinner, I honestly believe vindictive bitch Trump would not have gotten off his fat ass for a run at the presidency. So “thanks” a lot, Obama. The rise of the Tea Party nazis, all those cracker fascist judges on the bench for decades reversing civil rights, the Senate acting as lawless minions with their hatred of due process, psychotic reversal of commonsense environmental regs, overt racism instead of the usual covert racism from the Repubs on the whitey war path—it’s all on you.