In a speech Thursday, EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said the Trump administration would continue to roll back environmental protections if the president is reelected and criticized efforts to combat climate change.
Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, said the administration would also seek to expand so-called “science transparency,” a policy long-promoted by the tobacco and fossil fuel industries. Wheeler also criticized, “the Obama-Biden administration [for] only focus[ing] on climate change at the expense of the communities here in the United States.” Environmental justice advocates were unimpressed by Wheeler’s claims that deregulation would help these communities.
“Every one of the actions they have taken, either by weakening or rolling back basic protections, has put environmental justice communities — front-line communities — in greater harm,” Mustafa Santiago Ali, a longtime EPA environmental justice official, told The Washington Post. “I have seen no actions that lead me to believe they have any interest in protecting those lives.”