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Trump's First 100 Days a Bust for Environment, Groups Say

Protesters in Montana cities marked Trump's 100th day on Saturday with climate marches. (Takver/Flickr)
Protesters in Montana cities marked Trump's 100th day on Saturday with climate marches. (Takver/Flickr)
May 1, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. - President Trump marked his 100th day in office this weekend, saying his administration "had brought profound change to Washington.” While they agree the change has been profound, environmental groups say it's been anything but positive, especially regarding policies that protect public health.

President of the Natural Resources Defense Council Rhea Suh said since taking office, Trump has targeted clean water protections, fuel economy standards and safeguards against dangerous climate pollutants.

"The first 100 days are fairly dizzying in terms of the level, the breadth and the depth of the environmental attacks that they've unleashed,” Suh said. "Things like the purity of the water we drink, the cleanliness of the air we breathe and sanctity of the places that we recreate."

Trump also has threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords, and moved to cancel the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, calling it a threat to jobs. The plan would have forced coal-fired power plants to reduce their carbon emissions.

Climate marches in Billings, Bozeman and other Montana cities were held Saturday in solidarity with similar actions in hundreds of other U.S. cities marking Trump's 100th day.

The Trump administration also proposed significant cuts to the EPA and nominated climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to head it. Suh said this is despite polling that shows a majority of Americans would like the agency's powers preserved or strengthened.

"With 30 percent cuts to that agency, that's literally like taking cops off the beat,” Suh said. "That will prevent EPA from doing its job. It will prevent EPA from protecting us and it will certainly allow polluters to have a greater license in their activities."

Trump has touted his environmental policies as necessary to spur economic growth. According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted 73 days into the president's term, 61 percent of voters disapprove of Trump's handling of the environment - more than twice as many as those who approve.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT