Donald J. Trump was sworn in on 20th January 2017 and immediately set to work dismantling the environmental landmark policies of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Obama presidency will be fondly looked back on from the angle of environmental issues. He worked tirelessly to protect the America public and its air, sea, and land from the effects of pollution, coal addiction, land degradation and set America on the path of renewable energy. On the eve of his completion of tenure, Obama designated two areas, in Utah and Nevada as national monuments. The total area of the new Protected sites, the Bear Ears National Monument and the Gold Butte measure well over 1.6 Million acres (647497 ha). In his eight years in office, President Obama has put such seal on 29 national monuments to protect them.
On the environmental issues of our time, Trump is not hard to pin down. He has professed love for the environment, but his actions belie those words. The support for more digging for coal and more drilling for oil does not give hope for calm. In 2014, in a series of tweets, he denounced climate research and wind turbines due to conflicts on his proposed golf course in Scotland. It is early days yet in 2017, but the signs are ominous under the new administration. Trump is rolling out the red carpet for Big oil. Rex Tillerson, his choice for the Secretary of State was the ex-Chairman of ExxonMobil. The White House under this administration has been willfully hostile to the Federal Agency regulating the nation's Environmental space. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up by President Nixon on 2 December 1970. The mandate put simply is to protect the citizens from environmental risks. President Obama led positive actions to limit the danger of a climate catastrophe within America and globally; working with nations of the world on COP 22, increasing budgetary funding for the EPA and pushing efforts on renewable energy package for Africa. The opposite is playing out. President Trump has gagged the EPA from working efficiently by issuing a ban that prevents staff from public discourse, placed a freeze on new grants and contracts, and made attempts to cut off sections of the EPA website on climate research. His appointments don’t speak of a man who is interested in the common sense climate debate. Scott Pruitt, his nominee for the EPA, has sued the agency he is set to champion many times. Trump has essentially set up roadblocks for those who work to protect the public and to reduce environmental risks.
Trump has shifted from a position backing renewable energy in 2009 to where he is now; denunciation about wind turbines and ignorance on how the renewable industry works as a whole. Those proclamations were before he got into the White House, now as President Trump with the environmental codes in his hands, we hope he can separate substance from his bias.
One thing is clear; we are in a new era and vigilance is needed.
The Badlands National Park Service Twitter account is defying the Trump administration with a rolling text of science-backed facts. Using the President own favorite mode of communicating to the world, the tweets have been a welcome pushback to Trump dangerous steps on climate and environmental concerns.