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
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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.

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“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.

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[The New York Times]

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

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DISCUSSION

cmallen
C.M. Allen

Anyone who thinks that we arrived at our current clusterfuck of regulations and laws by *accident* is a drooling idiot. We arrived here specifically because BUSINESSES KILLED PEOPLE and KEPT KILLING PEOPLE by subverting, perverting, and twisting those laws and regulations we implemented to stop that shit.

It turns out, forcing businesses to act in a socially conscious and responsible manner is a NEVER-ENDING BATTLE, and it’s the ONLY way they even will. Because fuck people. Let’s make more money!

These rollbacks will be death the THOUSANDS of people. Mostly the poor. And mostly people of color. Which is the intention. Because as far as the GOP is concerned, us uppity peasants need to learn our place — servitude to the wealthy.