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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.
 

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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

Leaving His Mark

May 2, 2017 3:00 am
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Our so-called president, Donald Trump, has stumbled on many fronts in his first 100 days, including that debacle of an attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. But while he has screwed up almost everywhere else, he has clearly made a nasty mark on the environment.

Rep. Jared Huffman of California, a top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, called Trump a “wrecking ball” on the environment.

Hard-fought environmental protections and climate policies have been threatened. And these just happen to be protections and policies that the fossil fuel industries have been gunning for for many years.

Plans to combat climate change have been shelved, national monuments have been imperiled, regulations for clean air and water have been eroded, and beautiful, fragile coastlines such as California’s may be opened up to drilling. The Arctic could be thrown open to new oil and gas development as well.

Trump picked Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. When Pruitt was the attorney general in Oklahoma, he made a career of suing the EPA. Politico reports that energy companies and fossil fuel executives have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into political action committees run by or supporting Pruitt. If there ever was a case of the fox guarding the environmental hen house, this seems to be it.

Among those certainly rejoicing over picks such as Pruitt and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Trump’s Energy secretary, are the Koch brothers. These fossil fuel tycoons have done everything in their power to undermine state and federal actions to promote clean energy and combat climate change.

When I read Rep. Huffman’s characterization of Trump’s anti-environmental efforts as a “wrecking ball,” my mind went to Miley Cyrus’ award-winning but controversial song and music video of the same name. “Wrecking Ball” won the MTV Video Music Award in 2014.

Trump’s actions are controversial, and they will certainly win him plaudits among those who want to continue to make bushels of money selling dirty energy. But we as a country and, moreover, as a planet, are likely to rue the day this malevolent, science-ignoring clown was ever elected.

 
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