Western states reject Trump’s environmental deregulation

World Today

U.S. President Donald Trump has taken action to abolish clean air regulations, and slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.

But a group of U.S. states and cities is fighting back. CGTN’s May Lee reports.

US West Coast states reject Trump's environmental deregulation

US West Coast states reject Trump's environmental deregulation

U.S. President Donald Trump has made his stance against environmental policies clear. He's taken action to abolish clean air regulations, and slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. But a group of U.S. states and cities is fighting back. CGTN's May Lee reports.

The American West Coast, often called the “Left Coast” because of its progressive leanings, is living up to that label, once again.

A coalition of Western state governors and city mayors is rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts at rolling back environmental protections, including the Clean Power Plan passed by former President Barack Obama.

In a joint statement, the eight local and state politicians stated: “Any attacks on the Clean Power Plan would move our nation in the wrong direction and put American prosperity at risk. We will assert our own 21st century leadership and chart a different course. Climate change is one of our greatest threats.”

Environmental law experts say this will very likely lead to a battle in court with California leading the way, which has the most aggressive greenhouse target in the world to cut emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

“I think it’s clear that California is gearing up for a court battle. It has an Attorney General Xavier Becerra who is a very strong litigator, very strategic. So I don’t think it’s shying away from a court battle at all,” said Cara Horowitz from the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and Environment at the UCLA School of Law. “I actually think it welcomes potentially the third party neutral arbiter of a court, of a judge.”

This would be similar to what happened between Washington state and the Trump administration over the travel ban, which eventually was blocked by a federal appeals court.

But the resistance isn’t just about protecting the environment, it’s also good business. Environmental advocates are quick to point out flaws in Trump’s decisions.

“He talks a lot about, for example, saving the U.S. coal industry. There’s 69,000 jobs in the U.S. coal industry. About 200,000 in the oil and gas extraction industry. There are 2.5 million jobs in the clean energy sector, and that’s just the start,” said Craig Egbert, President of the Climate Action Reserve.

Egbert says that climate change leadership, instead, is coming from China where everything from green technology development to carbon emissions cap and trade programs, are being fully embraced.