By Chris Adams
The environmental agenda of President Donald Trump and his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, is to undue much of the actions of previous presidents, Republicans and Democrats alike.
Much of that agenda was shaped in part by Myron Ebell, the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment; in 2016, he led the Trump administration’s transition efforts for the EPA.
In a session with National Press Foundation fellows, Ebell critiqued the predominant view on climate change, saying it is not the crisis it is made out to be. He also described the economic justifications for Trump’s deregulatory agenda and why the president seeks to roll back much of the previous administrations’ environmental actions.
“The main goal of President Trump’s agenda is to get rid of all the climate agenda,” he said.
His efforts on the transition team collected the promises made by then-candidate Trump and turned them into action items that could be taken once the president’s team was in place. That included blocking or reopening and changing actions such as the Waters of the U.S. rule, the Climate Action Plan of 2013, the Stream Protection Rule, and the coal leasing moratorium on federal lands.
And he described why Trump decided it was critical to get out of the Paris Climate Treaty – an action that was widely condemned by environmental groups.
Underpinning his thinking is that the environment is not in the crisis that previous administration and most environmental groups say it is. Because of that, the EPA can withstand the large budget cuts proposed for it by the Trump administration.
“The EPA has largely accomplished its mission and it should be downsized,” he said.