Is Trump trashing the environment?

Perspectives on the President: The Environment

Jane Wantland, Feature's Editor

This is the fifth article in a series in which The Freelancer will explore the policies of newly-elected-president Donald Trump and potential impact on La Serna High School students and culture.

Since the election of President Donald Trump, there have been many proclamations about the issues regarding the environment. Some include Trump backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement, his wishes to destroy the Clean Power Plan, and eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA was created to protect humans from health hazards, environmental issues, and learn how to deal with them. With Trump wanting to eliminate the EPA and make it more of an advisory body without any devoted enforcement, people’s health could be at risk. Many assume that Trump has disregard for the environment because of these decisions.

The Paris Agreement is the process the U.S. wants to take to help reduce greenhouse gases by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. “Trump could end up avoiding the necessary actions to release the U.S. from the agreement but that process can take up to three or four years. This process doesn’t seem to require any enforcement except for transparency and progress reports,” according to online source Business Insider. “With Trump backing out of this climate agreement the rest of the world will continue to challenge climate change, while America may become climate isolationists,” the article stated.

Biology and Chemistry teacher Allison Mahler said, “There is no reason to divert money away from the investigation and experimentation with these new, clean, renewable energy resources simply because you don’t agree with global warming.” She also stated that she wouldn’t have chosen to set climate change aside. People in fossil fuel industries have lost jobs, but “we shouldn’t take away funding for looking at renewable energy resources,” she added. Mahler agrees with the notion that backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement “wasn’t the best choice.”

One way America tried to lower carbon pollution was the Clean Power Plan. This plan was pitched by the Obama Administration and was designed to lower the levels of carbon pollution in power plants nation-wide. Trump wishes to eliminate this plan. “His choices of doing so are either challenging the court or repealing the Clean Air Act. That could cause major uproar in the courthouse because bills could be passed through Congress to block the Clean Power Plan, and if Trump wishes to sign off those bills it would then become a law,” stated the Business Insider article.

La Serna sophomore Mara Vandusseldorp thinks Trump’s decision to get rid of this plan, “Is even dumber because a clean power plan means that it’s better for the earth.” Mahler agreed that if it were to be eliminated, it could cause issues within Congress and the issue could become more political rather than scientific. “It’s not like the EPA is devoid of bias but they do have at least the perspectives of scientists rather than the perspectives of politicians who are continually trying to be elected.”