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(77,424 posts)
Mon Jan 25, 2021, 10:42 AM Jan 2021

Illustrating Trump's Toxic Legacy -- And Biden's Daunting Task Ahead

(Grist) JOE BIDEN HAS A MESS ON HIS HANDS. He inherits a White House plagued by the specters of violence, distrust, racial animus, and an actual plague. Donald Trump was loud in many ways, from the tweets and the reality show-inspired unveilings of Supreme Court nominees to the audible whistles to white nationalists and the tantrum over last year’s election results. But amid his chaos and contradiction, his administration was dedicated to a quieter art: the regulatory rollback. If America was to be made great again, remnants of President Barack Obama’s era needed to be dismantled.

Obama had left behind an environmental legacy, however rushed and incomplete. The country had entered a historic climate agreement with 195 other countries. It had committed to curbing carbon emissions from coal plants and improving the fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks. The administration had conserved more than 550 million acres of land and had given the clean energy sector a $90-billion jumpstart via the 2009 Recovery Act.

So by the time Trump was sworn into office on January 20, 2017, there was much to undo. Trump’s Cabinet secretaries would direct particular ire toward Obama’s environmental and climate accomplishments.

In the four years that followed, the new administration made hundreds of attempts to dampen the U.S. government’s response to climate change and limit the scope and efficacy of federal oversight. Executive actions, judicial challenges, and new, industry-friendly rules streamed prolifically from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, Department of Energy, and other agencies. ...........(more)


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