Nowhere in an 1,800-word executive order to address forest management and wildfires — quietly issued on Friday — does President Donald Trump draw a connection between climate change and increased wildfire risk. Instead, critics say it looks like a potential handout to the logging industry. The executive order, titled “Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk,” calls on the secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to reduce “regulatory barriers” to getting rid of “hazardous fuels” that contribute to wildfires.
Environmental groups caught the Department of the Interior trying to sell off part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, despite a pledge by Secretary Ryan Zinke never to put public lands up for sale After massive backlash from environmental groups and the public, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) late Friday canceled all plans to sell off the land.
During the Obama administration, the federal government took action to prevent another Deepwater Horizon-sized oil spill, widely viewed as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. After taking office, the Trump administration immediately began making plans to relax certain offshore drilling rules implemented after the 2010 disaster.
President Donald Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a fringe player in the climate debate who promotes the idea that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is good for humanity, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality on Thursday. Hartnett White, a senior fellow and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the fossil-fuel funded Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), has questioned the scientific consensus that human activities are the major driver of catastrophic climate change. She has described efforts to combat climate change as primarily an attack on the fossil fuel industry.
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a large spending bill for fiscal year 2018 that slashes clean energy spending and approves keeping fossil fuel research at current levels.
This week, the Trump administration defied its “America First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make it easier for companies to hire guest workers from foreign countries. The Trump Organization is already poised to benefit from it. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workersfrom 66,000 visas per year to 81,000. On Thursday — just three days later — Trump’s properties told the Department of Labor that they wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using those visas.
President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies.
The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt on Wednesday to an Obama-era rule created to reduce methane leaks from new and modified oil and natural gas drilling wells. The action places a 90-day stay on portions of the rule, set in 2016, that requires oil and gas companies to detect and repair leaks of methane and other air pollution at new operations.