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Trump, Citing Pandemic, Weakens Two Key Environmental Protections

“Twin environmental actions set for Thursday underscored the president’s push to roll back regulations as the coronavirus crisis continues.”

“WASHINGTON —  The Trump administration, in twin actions to curb environmental regulations, moved on Thursday to temporarily speed the construction of energy projects and to permanently weaken federal authority to issue stringent clean air and climate change rules.

President Trump signed an executive order that calls on agencies to waive required environmental reviews of infrastructure projects to be built during the pandemic-driven economic crisis. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that changes the way the agency uses cost-benefit analyses to enact Clean Air Act regulations, effectively limiting the strength of future air pollution controls.

Together, the actions signal that Mr. Trump intends to speed up his efforts to dismantle environmental regulations as the nation battles the coronavirus and a wave of unrest protesting the deaths of black Americans in Georgia, Minnesota and Kentucky. They will also help define the stakes in the 2020 presidential election, since neither effort would likely survive a Democratic victory.”

Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman report for the New York Times June 4, 2020.


“Trump To Use COVID-19 As Cover To Ram Through Energy, Infrastructure Projects” (HuffPost)

“Trump Orders Agencies Cut Environment Reviews, Citing ‘Economic Emergency'” (Guardian)

“Trump Gives U.S. Agencies Power To Fast-Track Big Infrastructure Projects” (Reuters)

“U.S. EPA Proposes Changes To How Clean Air Rules Are Written” (Reuters)

“Trump Uses ‘Emergency’ to Speed Up Infrastructure Projects” (Bloomberg Environment)

“Trump Waives Environmental Reviews, Citing Pandemic Economic Emergency” (NPR)

“Trump Seeks To Scale Back Environmental Reviews For Projects” (AP)

“Trump Signs Order To Waive Environmental Reviews For Key Projects” (Washington Post)