In the wake of COVID-19, the federal government made critical decisions regarding the oil industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and national parks which will leave deep wounds in the environmental movement.

Here are six environmental rollbacks made by Trump so far during the COVID crisis.

Six environmental rollbacks made by Trump during COVID

  1. Amending National Environmental Policy Act

    • Earlier this year, the Trump administration attempted to amend the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act to allow final environmental impact statements for projects with federal funding to effectively exclude climate change considerations.
      • Consequence: Projects could be greenlit without a proper accounting of all costs, including but not limited to externalities related to environmental degradation.

  2. Big Oil Buy-back

  3. EPA Suspends Enforcement

    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to indefinitely suspend enforcement of its rules and regulations due to COVID-19. Companies will now basically self-regulate their own air and water pollution. The rule extends retroactively to March 13th.
      • Consequence: Privatization or outright removal of enforcement of environmental rules and regulations will in all likelihood lead to increased emissions and pollution, which could have serious public health impacts that compound existing stress on our health care system.
  4. Bisecting a national park

  5. Waiver for major slaughterhouse

    • The Department of Agriculture confirmed a waiver that allowed a private company to inspect a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse in lieu of the EPA.
      • Consequence: Without proper oversight of slaughterhouse practices, consumers will suffer from higher risk of contaminated food, which seems particularly shortsighted given that COVID-19 was likely caused by unsafe treatment of animal products.
  6. Lax fossil-fuel standards

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