Part of creating a workable, practical resistance to Donald Trump is correctly diagnosing what we are up against. While the terrible news is often overwhelming, ignoring it will do nothing to change what is happening. Take for example, the Trump administration’s announcement that it is open to rolling back President Obama’s fuel efficiency standards for cars. From the Washington Post:
President Trump pledged to review fuel efficiency standards set in place during the Obama administration, telling auto plant workers in Ypsilanti, Mich. on Wednesday afternoon that his administration will ensure the regulations do not lead to job losses and factory closures.
Trump criticized the Obama administration for expediting its review of the standards, which was originally slated to be complete next year.
A senior White House official said Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency ignored “a voluminous record of data” when it determined earlier this year that the regulations were appropriate. The agency formally rescinded that decision on Wednesday, and officials there will now work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to restart a review that they expect to complete no later than April 2018.
“If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common sense changes could have and should have been made,” Trump said.
Trump did not indicate that rolling back fuel efficiency standards was his highest priority, but he has officially opened the door for it to happen. This might not seem like a big deal, but it indicates the White House’s priorities for the country, and the environment is not one of them. Car companies, like all other companies, are in business to make a profit — so if they can get away with cutting costs, they will in order to be competitive in their industry. Government set emission standards ensures the playing field is leveled — making cars fuel efficient has to be built into the cost for everyone selling cars in America. Once those standards go, car companies will stop adhering to them if they can make more money. Automobile CEOs may well be concerned about the environment, but their chief aim is to make a profit and they must deliver to their shareholders if they want to keep their jobs.
While just one of many awful things the Trump administration is doing, reversing legislation that protects the environment is perhaps the worst aspect of this government. There isn’t a signature piece of legislation (as of yet) that damages our natural environment beyond repair, but a slow and steady drip of gutting regulation, defunding agencies that monitor the environment, and signaling to the international community that they are not interested in binding legislation to curb carbon emissions. The net effect of this will be absolutely devastating not only for Americans, but the planet as a whole, so it is important that every little detail is covered by the media and shared effectively on social media to raise awareness.
The bottom line is that the Trump administration is going to war with our natural environment and we must stand together to stop him.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.