Donald Trump’s attempt to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by cutting its budget 31.4% and eliminating international climate funding “leaves no doubt about where we, as a nation, stand,” the normally-staid New Jersey Star-Ledger editorialized March 18: “In the shadow of a madman.”
“How else to describe a president who in one moment says he loves clean water and air, and the next vows to ‘get rid of’ the very agency charged with protecting them, ‘in almost every form?’” the paper asks. “Even congressional Republicans and fossil fuel flunky Scott Pruitt, who opposes some of the core missions of the EPA he now runs, think Trump is going too far.”
The White House’s “reckless abandonment of the effort to contain climate change comes at a time when public concern about it has reached a national all-time high,” the paper adds. “A solid majority of Americans believe the effects of climate change are already occurring, and are driven by human activities. Most also believe Trump will do a poor job of protecting the environment.”
The editorial runs through a litany of Trump’s assaults on climate programming—from rejecting climate science, to trying to derail the Paris agreement, to gutting climate resilience standards, to lifting White House talking points directly from an ExxonMobil news release.
“During the campaign, he called climate change a Chinese hoax,” the Star-Ledger editors write. “To the New York Times, he later admitted human activity may indeed contribute. But his actions, as always, speak loudest. Our only hope is that saner minds in Congress prevail.” (h/t to Fred Heutte for pointing us to this story)