Environmental Law Waivers Basically Ignored Due to Riots, Pandemic

By now most of us understand Trump’s tactics pretty well — even as they continue to work. For example, we know that sleight of hand is one of Trump’s favorite strategies when pushing through legislation that many Americans probably wouldn’t like all that much. Like the environmental reviews he just waived by executive order. Most of us, if we had noticed, probably wouldn’t be too crazy about waiving these reviews at a time when the world is overheating to an extent we can’t even fathom.

The goal?

Trump says we need to speed up infrastructure projects in order to jumpstart the economy, which is still flailing about due to the coronavirus. No one will ever argue that American infrastructure is a joke, or that it doesn’t need an influx of cash, but to abandon long-term environmental concerns for short-term “maybe” benefits yet again is about as irresponsible as it gets. 

The executive order reads, “Unnecessary regulatory delays will deny our citizens opportunities for jobs and economic security, keeping millions of Americans out of work and hindering our economic recovery from the national emergency.”

Naturally, affected industries are all too eager to make a buck. CEO Rich Nolan of the National Mining Association said, “Today’s executive order provides an opportunity to jumpstart our economic recovery by ensuring that we are rebuilding and modernizing with American-made materials, equipment and jobs, [including] copper for wiring, metallurgical coal required for steelmaking or zinc for galvanization.”

Not everyone has been so kind.

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “Instead of trying to ease the pain of a nation in crisis, President Trump is focused on easing the pain of polluters.” She described the order as “utterly senseless.”

Naturally, the executive order will end up in court — as long as enough people are paying attention. That’s because the order is exceedingly broad. As such, many will deem it unlawful.