I belong to the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization founded in 1892 in San Francisco, California by Scottish-American preservationist John Muir. Mr. Muir became the organization’s first president. Today, I am one of 2.4 million members. The Sierra Club motto is: “Explore, enjoy and protect our planet.”
Protect The Planet From Trump
That motto is quickly morphing into, “Protect our planet from Trump.” In a recent mailing the club sent out a dire warning of the intent and activities of the Trump Administration, Ryan Zinke and Scott Pruitt as they effect the environment. This will be a rather lengthy undertaking but I believe the information is important and should be shared. I, like many others, are deeply concerned.
It seems that the daily barrage of Washington scandal and outrage are on steroids since Trump’s inauguration. One bullshit scandal, after bullshit scandal oozes out of the Trump White House. It seems that every hour we have our heads snapped back by a fresh Tweet from The Donald; or some new Russian revelation.
This information overload is distracting the public from all the damage being done behind the scenes by people like Zinke and Pruitt. Guys who lobbied or sued the very agencies that they now head. They are now perfectly positioned to dismantle those agencies from within. An unimaginable opportunity for the extraction industries. Dis-mantling and neutering all government agencies is a priority of the Trump & Co. agenda. They call it “dis-mantling the administrative state.”
Mission: Dismantle From Within
Make no mistake about it, the Trump Administration is working every minute of every day, to turn our water, air, and public lands over to their supporters in gas, oil, coal and other extraction industries. They have made no secret of their intent, but damn it is hard to watch every action taken in some obscure office, especially with all the noise out front from the president. In fact, that could be the intention. Get us all watching the three-ring circus in Congress and the White House while their gang of thieves rob the nation of its wilderness heritage.
“The Trump Anti-Environment Action Plan:
- Abandon the Paris Climate Accord: In June Trump announced he was no longer bound by the Climate Agreement. Sierra Club believes in the importance of the intent of the Paris Agreement and has vowed to aggressively work to make sure that Trump’s hand-picked fossil fuel, anti-environment henchmen will not be able to unravel the advances of the last 50 plus years.
- Emasculate Fuel Economy Standards: The Obama Administration raised the fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks or CAFE for short (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). These regulations are in the crosshairs, as I type.
- Kill The Environmental Protection Agency: The most hated government agency by far is the EPA. Pro-industry, anti-environment extremists are on a mission to destroy the agency. With a “compliant climate denier” as President Trump targeting the EPA, many of us doubt that the intent of the agency will survive. The EPA will be starved by a “compliant” congress and it will slowly starve it of funding, leaving it “a hollow shell staffed by those who will pervert its mission.” The EPA is being decimated, one regulation at a time and there seems to be no one to stop it.
- Fill The Supreme Court With Anti-Environmentalists: Blame Mich McConnell for this one. McConnell’s actions are directly responsible for the first step in the plan to fill the Court. When Anthonin Scalia died suddenly, McConnell majority leader in the Senate denied President Obama the opportunity to fill that spot. Old Mitch and the boys will be celebrating that victory for probably 40 years. President Trump was able to confirm a “pro-industry, climate antagonist eager to overturn environmentally friendly cases and rule on the side of the fossil fuel and extraction industries.”
Climate Science Denier To Head EPA For Trump
- Bring Back That Dirty Of Dirtiest Industries, King Coal: Trump told enthusiastic crowds during the rigged 2016 election that he could bring back the near dead coal industry. He alone could do CPR and bring back that nearly dead monster back to life. Sadly, he may be able to reshape market forces that have caused coal to become a more expensive alternative to cleaner energy sources by ending the moratorium on new coal leases on public land. In essence a huge giveaway to this dirty industry. Trump began to immediately gut regulations that force coal companies to be responsible for the pollution they create. He did this sleight of hand when he repealed the Stream Protection Bill as one of his first acts as president.
Ready And Willing To Sell Off Public Lands
- Open Federal Lands To Fossil Fuel Exploration: The recently retired Representative Jason Chaffetz (R. UT) introduced H.R. 621 authorizing “the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain federal lands in 10 Western states, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. After it became public that Chaffetz was planning to transfer 3.3 million acres of public land to private interests, the public pressure forced him to withdraw the bill. But, there are many more men like Chaffetz paid by lobbyist to do the work of their donors, not the work of the public, and I am sure another Senator or Representative will re-package the legislation and re-introduce this government giveaway to fossil fuel their cronies.
- Dismantle The Clean Power Plan: The Republican end goal is to re-define greenhouse gases as not “dangerous to human health” putting them beyond the reach of the EPA’s jurisdiction, or deny EPA funding to the Act, dismantling the Clean Power Plan and its goal to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from electricity plants. Such actions are “likely to accelerate climate disruption precipitously.”
Green Economy Is The World’s Best Bet For The Future
- Stop The Growth Of A Green Economy: Trump campaigned on a promise to “zero out federal research and development” for green energy. The reason for this is that fossil fuel companies like the behemoth, Exxon Mobil have few means to monetize wind and solar energy. I and many others are hoping that private industry has seen that “a green economy is the best bet for the future–both for consumers who will benefit from lower energy prices, and for an economy that offers good paying jobs here in the United States.
- Fill Environmental Agencies With Anti-Environmentalists: As noted in my introduction, the new hiring model for federal agencies which are designed to protect the environment are being subverted by anti-environmentalist being appointed to positions within the agencies. The notorious anti-EPA critic, Scott Pruitt being appointed to head the EPA has spelled disaster for the department. The Republican Senate literally raced to beat the release of thousands of emails detailing his “cozy relationship with energy companies”. Evidence shows that when Pruitt was Oklahoma Attorney General, had energy company staffers and lobbyists ghost write his correspondence to federal officials.
BPA Is The Largest Fish Conservation Program On Earth And One Of It’s Largest Electrical Power Providers
Trump Wants To Steal NW Energy Resources: As a resident of the Northwest United States I know that the Columbia River is our regions greatest natural resource and the river’s dams and their electrical power are its most valuable man-made resources. The Bonneville Power Administration is the authority that sets the operation of the dams and transmits the electricity. The BPA generates 4 Billion dollars in revenue annually through the sales of the system’s electricity. In 1980’s Reagan proposed selling the entire BPA system, which raised a hue and cry. Trump and his allies are a little smarter, they are proposing “to sell off the ‘transmission’ of power from the dams. Such a proposal would dramatically affect how the river is managed. “BPA’s management of the dams recognizes that there is an inherent trade-off for how much water is saved for fish, how cold and how deep that water is. Few people realize that the BPA runs the largest fish conservation program in the world. In other words, when you sell the transmission side of the dams, more than power is at stake.” This is at its core, “an attempt to steal an asset whose value Northwest ratepayers have paid for, at market rates.” (Information on the BPA item was provided by office of Senator Ron Wyden (D. OR) and The Daily Astorian newspaper 8-11-2017).
Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog that attempts to write and publish opinions and comments based on real news and how those events will affect our lives.
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