Donald Trump’s recent executive order targeting the Clean Power Plan was yet another attack on America’s environmental safeguards. It jeopardizes critical air and climate protections that keep Americans safe and mitigate the risk of climate change disaster. And despite his comments to the contrary, there is ample evidence the CPP and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand.
How wrong is Trump about the CPP? Let us count the ways.
Take first Trump’s claims that this order brings an end to job killing regulations and brings back jobs to mining communities and other industrial areas. Rolling back the Clean Power Plan is expected to lead to 300,000 more missed work days and school days every year—an obvious shot to worker productivity and economic growth.
Moreover, the president’s declaration that jobs will now flood back to coal mining and industrial areas is already debunked. As natural gas and renewable energy become more affordable and accessible, companies have left coal behind for cleaner energy sources. Though coal will continue to maintain a small portion of energy creation, the days of its dominance are over. Just look: Arby’s now employs more people than the coal industry.
To be clear, the struggle of many Americans across impoverished areas who have seen jobs evaporate is very real. But Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the Clean Power Plan and job creation is wildly misleading. Conversely, the rules that Trump’s order attack provide clarity to markets, bolster growth and investment, and keep Americans healthy, safe, and ready to work.
While announcing the order, Trump paid brief lip service to clean air and clean water, saying they remain very important and would not be affected. Of course, this is untrue. By rolling back critical clean air safeguards, Trump is unleashing industry polluters to dirty our air, damage our lungs, and destroy our planet.
Even Trump’s “pro-business” case doesn’t add up. Indeed, leading businesses across the US—from Google and Apple, to power companies and public health groups—support the Clean Power Plan and are actively defending it in court.
Trump’s executive order harms American health, well-being and the economy. So what now? While many pieces of the order will be tied up in court for months and years to come, initiatives are already underway to defend against the attacks. For one, you can tell your senator that, in light of Trump’s earlier proposal to cut 31% of the EPA’s budget, you demand full funding for the EPA and its mission.
And on April 29th you can join us in Washington DC or at marches across the country for the People’s Climate Movement, where we’ll be using our collective voice to demand environmental protections and climate action. We’re even offering the chance for three lucky people to win an all-expense-paid trip to DC to join in the Movement.