by Rob Wasinger
Democrats are hell-bent on reducing the living standards of ordinary Americans in order to protect the environment, but President Trump is demonstrating that it’s possible to be a responsible ecological steward without sacrificing the country’s prosperity.
Donald Trump believes in a simple and obvious truth — America can’t protect the environment without first protecting its economy. Green energy innovation is a product of the private sector — but the private sector can’t function effectively when a bloated federal government stifles economic growth with job-killing regulations.
Contrary to a popular Democrat myth, President Trump has always been in favor of improving the environment, and he has fought to implement common-sense policies that have raised ecological standards across the country.
“From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to ensure that America has among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet,” he proudly declared during a recent speech. “We want the cleanest air. We want crystal-clean water, and that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re working on so hard.”
Unlike his political opponents, however, Donald Trump does not believe in committing to vague international climate agreements that disproportionately target U.S. industries. As the President has pointed out, America is far from being the world’s worst polluter — in fact, the U.S. maintains one of the most impressive environmental records in the world.
Why, then, should Washington commit to multinational pacts that would eliminate millions of American jobs while countries such as China, Russia, and India do practically nothing to reduce their environmental footprint and steal our jobs in the process?
President Trump has done far more than just extricate the country from harmful international climate traps, though — his administration has also spearheaded numerous ecological initiatives that have improved our environment without being compelled by complex multilateral agreements. In fact, U.S. emissions are projected to decrease in both 2019 and 2020.
Just this year, the President signed the largest public lands legislation in a decade, preserving 1.3 million new acres of wilderness, and last year he approved the Save our Seas Act, which reauthorized programs to reduce marine waste and debris.
President Trump also championed a bill to allocate more than $500 million for environmental restoration projects in the Florida Everglades, and under his leadership the EPA cleaned up more contaminated and hazardous “Superfund” sites in FY 2018 than it has in any single year since 2005.
All the while, the Trump administration has consistently promoted job growth and economic development by cutting taxes and slashing unnecessary regulations — a move that ensures the long-term health and stability of the U.S. private sector.
“A strong economy is vital to maintaining a healthy environment,” the President pointed out in his environmental policy address. “When we innovate, produce, and grow, we’re able to unleash technologies and processes that make the environment better while reshoring and, so importantly — you look at reshoring production all the way — taking it away from foreign polluters, and back to American soil.”
Regrettably, this wasn’t always the approach that Washington took toward environmentalism — and it still isn’t the vision of the Democrat Party.
The environmental movement in America has been largely hijacked by radical progressives in recent decades, resulting in draconian federal initiatives that only managed to reduce economic growth.
Under President Obama, for instance, the Environmental Protection Agency aggressively targeted small and large businesses alike, shackling the private sector with nearly 4,000 new regulations. In 2016, Americans for Tax Reform estimated that the compliance costs of the EPA’s red tape “have grown by more than $50 billion in annual costs since Obama took office.”
Shockingly, though, the fiscal devastation wrought by Obama’s misguided environmentalism doesn’t even come close to the jaw-dropping price tag of the latest radical proposal that is now supported by almost every Democrat presidential candidate — the Green New Deal.
According to a recent study, the Green New Deal would cost taxpayers $93 trillion over 10 years, or about $600,000 per household. But that’s not all — in addition to its enormous financial burden, the Green New Deal would also impose onerous new federal regulations designed to kill the manufacturing, mining, coal, oil, gas, and airline industries in America, which would take away the livelihoods of millions of working families.
Clearly, there is nothing “sustainable” about the Democrat Party’s vision of the future — their Green New Deal would bankrupt America while sparking the most severe economic recession in our country’s history.
Washington should not be sacrificing our quality of life in exchange for dubious promises of environmental protection, especially when that’s not even necessary. President Trump’s common-sense approach to environmental policy promises to both preserve our beautiful environment and protect our precious livelihoods for years to come.
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Robert Wasinger served in senior advisory and liaison roles in President Trump’s campaign and transition team, after extensive experience on Capitol Hill.