Cleaner Air, Water Show Trump Has Found Environmental Protection, Energy, Economic Development Nexus, USEA Chief says
Washington, D.C.—Today, President Trump revealed how his administration’s environmental leadership and investment in innovation have improved air and water quality for all Americans and exceeded international environmental standards.
In a speech at the White House on Monday on America’s Environmental Leadership, President Trump said his policies have led the U.S. to having the cleanest air on record, the best and broadest access to clean drinking water and all while growing the economy, developing our energy resources, and creating jobs.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt joined President Trump in his remarks at the event organized by The White House Office of American Innovation and Office Public Liaison. USEA was at the event.
In a statement Monday after President Trump’s remarks, USEA Executive Director Barry Worthington said:
“I am struck by the Trump administration’s indisputable progress on environmental protection and investment in innovation, both of which have made our air and water cleaner, and our citizens healthier.
“President Trump’s environmental policy and regulation, underscored by major efficiency improvements, shows he understands the link between sound environmental policy and critical energy development which drives our economy and supports national security and the security of our allies.
“For eight years, before President Trump took office, the energy industry was constrained by redundant environmental regulations, a painfully slow permitting process for all energy development, and uncertainty. This hurt American energy consumers and our allies who rely on our resources.
“Environmental management and energy development go hand in hand. The Trump administration environmental policies have allowed our industry to thrive instead of being constrained.
“For example, in April 2019, President Trump issued two executive orders that removed major barriers to infrastructure expansion, which is essential to produce and deliver U.S. energy supplies.
“The Trump administration assessed the deleterious effect regulatory barriers to pipeline expansion had on getting critical natural gas supplies to New England and other states. The residents of New England, in particular, had to suffer some of the highest electricity prices in the country because they couldn’t receive natural gas because they didn’t have adequate pipeline capacity. It’s a crisis when families can’t afford heat in the winter because of pipeline constraints.
“The administration’s policies have been a refreshing change, change that has helped expand exploration and production of oil and natural gas, which has boosted our economy, improved our environment, and put the U.S. in a position of strength in the world.
“Because of exploration and production, America is now the largest oil and gas producer in the world. Because of natural gas, U.S. emissions are down while most of the world is struggling to reduce carbon output and manage the effects of climate change. In fact, the U.S. electric industry has reduced emissions across the sector in a way the rest of the world has not.
“Today the Trump administration has shown the world that the U.S. can and has met global climate goals without a Clean Power Plan and without the Paris Accord. I believe the President deserves praise and credit.
“Today’s remarks by President Trump reflect his consistent and strong commitment to ensure Americans have access to clean air and water, and also reliable, affordable electricity and energy for transportation.”
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Monday America is leading the world in environmental quality and doing this without stifling economic growth.
“The truth is when other countries need help cleaning up their air, water, or land they turn to the US for assistance – not China or Russia. America is – and will remain— the gold standard for environmental protection,” Wheeler told the White House.
Under the Trump administration all criteria air pollutants continue to decline, from particulate matter to ground-level ozone. Lead and sulfur dioxide pollution has dropped by double digits.
The Trump administration can tout cleaner water for all Americans. Today, 93 percent of community water systems meet all health-based standards, all the time. Under Wheeler’s leadership, the EPA works closely with state and local communities in a way they had not before.
Since President Trump took office, EPA has approved eight Water Innovation Finance and Infrastructure Act WIFIA loans totaling nearly $2 billion to help finance more than $4 billion in water infrastructure projects which have created about 6,000 jobs.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt echoed the President’s sentiments. The Interior Department manages one out of every 5 acres of land in the United States, as well as the entire Outer Continental Shelf.
Bernhardt’s Interior has streamlined permitting and regulations to make room for recreation, conservation and energy development on federal lands.
For example, the 2018 Hunt-Fish Rule removed about 1,400 and simplified 710 federal regulations to closely match state hunting and fishing regulations. Interior expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 136 refuges by more than 350,000 acres. This action removed a major regulatory burden on Americans.
Last month, Secretary Bernhardt announced at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge a proposal for new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service across more than 1.4 million acres.
“Expanding access is critical to sustained conservation efforts,” Bernhardt said Monday at the White House.
Conservation and recreation happen alongside energy development. The U.S. is leading the world in energy production, and last year, under the Trump administration, 835 million barrels of oil were produced on lands managed by the Interior Department.
In Fiscal 2018, the Interior Department held 28 onshore oil and gas lease sales, covering almost 1.3 million acres and generating $1.1 billion in revenue, a record.
Energy companies, through innovation, are using less land to produce energy as well.
Under the Trump administration, energy and mineral production activities on Interior managed lands generated $9.1 billion dollars, supporting federal, state and local governments.