Donald Trump on Environment

2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


Join the United Nations' "One Trillion Trees initiative"

To protect the environment, days ago, I announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together Government and the private sector to plant new trees in America and around the world.

Wikipedia explanation:The Trillion Tree Campaign is a campaign of Plant-for-the-Planet to plant a trillion trees, a development and continuation of the activities of the earlier Billion Tree Campaign from 1977. The World Economic Forum during 2020, held in Davos, Switzerland announced the creation of the One Trillion Tree Initiative platform made for governments, businesses, and civil society to provide support to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2020-2030), led by the UN Environment Programme and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Source: 2020 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 4, 2020

FactCheck: Yes, hybrid family vehicles are available in US

Trump complained in his book "Time to Get Tough": "Obama's total cluelessness was revealed at one speaking event. A man told Obama that he and his wife need a bigger vehicle because they have 8 kids. So what did Obama do? He told the guy, 'Buy a hybrid van.' Just one problem: they don't exist in America. The president cannot even speak intelligently without a teleprompter." (p. 18).

Is that true? We researched whether any hybrid vans are available in America. Technically, Trump is correct; but in the car showroom, Obama is correct.

Trump is technically correct if one differentiates "vans" from "SUVs". Hybrid SUVs ARE available in America: the Chevy Tahoe and the Toyota Highlander both seat families of 7. There are hybrid vans available outside the US: the Toyota Estima (seats 7) is a hybrid available in Japan and Hong Kong. We would interpret Obama's statement as meaning "encourage Toyota to import that van if the SUV won't suit you." We would not interpret Obama's comment as "clueless

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump , Sep 6, 2019

FactCheck: Alabama WAS in hurricane risk, before Trump said

On 9/1/19, with Hurricane Dorian approaching, Trump tweeted, "In addition to FL--SC, NC, GA, and AL, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated." The National Weather Service (NWS) replied, "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian." On 9/4, Trump presented an NWS hurricane route prediction from 8/30, highlighting Alabama with a black Sharpie marker (hence "SharpieGate)", and charged "fake news." Who's right?

We checked the NWS maps, and several from 8/30 indeed showed Alabama in the hurricane's predicted path. For example, from the NWS: "Aug. 30, 5 p.m., advisory #026: The track forecast cone just clips the southeast corner of Alabama." The hurricane turned north instead, so by 8/31 Alabama was no longer at risk.

By 9/1, Trump was citing outdated information, but Trump was correct in saying that Alabama had been at-risk in some models. When Trump went on TV with his Sharpie-enhanced map, he showed a prediction that was outdated by 9/1--but Trump did not falsify any NWS maps.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Trump "SharpieGate" Twitter posting , Sep 6, 2019

Why not nuke hurricanes to stop them from hitting US?

President Trump has suggested multiple times using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the US, according to sources who have heard the president's private remarks and been briefed on an NSC memorandum that recorded those comments.

During one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said, "I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" according to one source who was there. "We drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?" the source added, paraphrasing the president's remarks.

The sources said that Trump's "bomb the hurricanes" idea--which he floated in the first year of his presidency--went nowhere and never entered a formal policy process.

Trump called this story "ridiculous" in a tweet. He added, "I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!"

Trump didn't invent this idea. Detonating a nuclear bomb over the eye of a hurricane dates to the Eisenhower era. The idea keeps resurfacing in the public even though scientists agree it won't work.

Source: Axios.com reporting on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Aug 25, 2019

2008: pushed Scotland golf course despite enviro fragility

In early 2006, rumors began to circulate in northeastern Scotland: Trump was thinking about expanding his golf empire to Scotland--birthplace of the sport, and of his mother.

Trump landed in Aberdeen, greeted by a bagpiper and a swarm of reporters. Some thought it odd that Trump kept referring to himself as being not Scottish but "Scotch," like the whisky; still, most local officials did what they could to smooth the way toward approval.

The public inquiry started in June 2008. Trump claimed to know more about the environment than his consultants did, though he admitted he had not read their reports. "You can only read so much," he said. He promised to preserve the dunes, but when the councilor who had cast the deciding vote against his permit accused Trump of failing to understand the property's environmental fragility, Trump snapped back, "Nobody has ever told me that I don't know how to buy property before. You're the first one. I have done very well buying property. Thanks for the advice."

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.255-7 , Aug 23, 2016

Eminent domain is something you need very strongly

Q: You say you don't agree with all conservative ideas; which ones don't you agree with?

TRUMP: Well, I think these people always hit me with eminent domain, and frankly, I'm not in love with eminent domain. But eminent domain is something you need very strongly. When Jeb Bush said, "You used eminent domain privately for a parking lot." It wasn't for a parking lot. The state of New Jersey went to build a very large tower that was going to employ thousands of people--a big job in terms of economic development. I got hit very hard: it's private, it's private eminent domain. You understand that [Jeb and George Bush] took over a stadium in Texas, and they used private eminent domain.

BUSH: You should not use eminent domain for private purposes. A baseball stadium or a parking lot.is very different. All of that is proper use of eminent domain. Not to take an elderly woman's home to build a parking lot so that high-rollers can come from New York City to build casinos in Atlantic City.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Eminent domain pays more than fair market value

In his business dealings, Trump has used eminent domain to enrich himself, and called this "wonderful." In an interview with Breitbart News, Trump made his "greater good" arguments: "If you're going to build a factory that's going to have 5,000 jobs, that's entirely different," Trump says. "These people, they're not just being thrown out. Everyone said 'you're taking their property,' but they're getting paid at least fair market value," Trump says.

"What people don't know is, usually you go through a condemnation, and [the property owner] will get 2, 3, 4 times the value of their house. People don't know that," Trump tells Breitbart.

Trump acknowledged that the condemnation process is difficult. "It's always unpleasant," he says. "They always say you pay them fair market value, but politically, they will pay you much more."

That all sounds great until you realize that to many of us, a home is more than a "2, 3, 4 times" investment. It is more than a house. It is a place filled with memories.

Source: John Nolte on Brietbart.com , Oct 9, 2015

Eminent domain is a very useful tool for job creation

Eminent domain, when it comes to jobs, roads, the public good, I think it's a wonderful thing. And remember, you're not taking property; you're paying a fortune for that property, sometimes up to ten times the actual value. Eminent domain as a useful tool that local governments can use to prevent greedy homeowners from derailing major projects that could create thousands of jobs. Many conservatives don't understand how many jobs this process often creates; and nobody knows it better than I do because I built a lot of buildings in Manhattan.
Source: Washington Post on 2015 presidential hopefuls , Oct 6, 2015

My sons love trophy hunting, but I'm not a believer

Donald Trump has never served in public office so it is very difficult to find any information on Trump's views on animal rights. However, both of Donald Trump's sons are known trophy hunters and recently defended the killing of beloved Cecil the lion. The brothers themselves traveled to Zimbabwe to shoot, "a variety of animals, including an elephant, a crocodile, a kudu, a civet cat and water buck." After his sons went under fire for their big game hunts, Donald Trump reportedly told TMZ, "My sons love hunting. They're hunters and they've become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I'm surprised they like it."
Source: TreeHouseAnimals.org on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 19, 2015

Won't go to circuses that cut elephants due to animal rights

Trump tweet of 3/5/15: "Ringling Brothers is phasing out their elephants. I, for one, will never go again. They probably used the animal rights stuff to reduce costs."

Here is our investigation into what those poor elephants were experiencing:

"The Cruelest Show on Earth": Bullhooks. Whippings. Electric shocks. Three-day train rides without breaks. Our yearlong investigation rips the big top off how Ringling Bros. treats its elephants.

Source: Mother Jones Fact-Checking of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 6, 2015

Partner with environmentalists when undertaking projects

In 2006, I saw the link land in northeast Scotland's Grampian Region. I knew this was the right place for my golf course. As soon as my proposed development was announced in 2006, environmentalists were immediately on guard.

There were a lot of issues to be dealt with, from badger and otter protection plans to the economic value to locals. People expected a duel, which I realized, so instead I offered a partnership approach. We worked with the Scottish National Heritage, and it became clear to them that I am environmentally sensitive. I was also inclined to be sympathetic to the rich history of the area due to my own heritage. I also hired the leading expert on geomorphology, for extensive research on the 25 acres of sand dunes on this land.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p.113-4 , Apr 27, 2010

Good development enhances the environment

Being in a position to help out at Jones Beach has been a tremendous feeling. I know detractors will be pleasantly surprised when they see how well integrated the design will be with the environment and the park.
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump, p. 97 , Jan 18, 2008

Humiliated NYC Mayor by finishing ice rink on time on budget

Ed Koch may have respected me, but he sure didn't like me. Our relationship went south for one reason: the Wollman Rink in Central Park. You may remember the tale. Local government had been trying for 7 years--and $20 million--to get that thing rebuilt. In 1986, I stepped in, and--with $2 million, or 10% of the city's dollars--New Yorkers were gliding across the ice four months later. Koch was humiliated. He took it personally. Rather than compliment me on saving the Wollman Rink, one of the great bureaucratic disasters in New York City history, Ed Koch tried to make light of my triumph by saying that the city could have done the same thing, that is, build the rink in four months rather than in seven years, if only it were not forced to go through the bureaucratic red tape. This was nonsense, and everyone knew it, but nevertheless, Ed's feeling toward me came out loud and clear. He felt I'd shown him up and from that point forward my relationship with Ed Koch was the pits.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.153 , Oct 27, 1997

Donald Trump on Regulation

We need better forest management; we planted a billion trees

Q: The forest fires in the West have burned millions of acres. You have rolled back a number of Obama Environmental records; what will you do in the next four years?

TRUMP: I want crystal clean water and air. I want beautiful clean air. But I haven't destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren't put out of commission. As far as the fires are concerned, you need forest management. In addition to everything else, the forest floors are loaded up with trees, dead trees that are years old and they're like tinder and leaves and everything else. You drop a cigarette in there the whole forest burns down. You've got to have forest management. I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air immaculate water and do whatever else we can that's good. We're planting a billion trees, the Billion Tree Project and it's very exciting for a lot of people.

Source: First 2020 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace , Sep 29, 2020

Great American Outdoors Act sets funding for public land

President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a measure that guarantees maximum annual funding for a federal program to acquire and preserve land for public use. The act, which allocates $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides up to $9.5 billion over five years to begin clearing up a maintenance backlog at national parks, was approved on a 310-to-107 vote in the House. It was introduced by Representative Joe Cunningham (SC-1).
Source: New York Times on 2020 Trump_Adminstration , Aug 4, 2020

I've cut more regulations than any President in history

Q: What can you do to lead the EPA to focus more on compliance, instead of punitive enforcement?

TRUMP: I love the question, because our EPA is much different. We're very tough, but we get things done and we're taking regulations off like nobody has ever seen. I've cut regulations more than any other President in the history of our country, and I did it in less than three years. One of the reasons the economy is so strong is because of what we did with regulations. If the other side--we'll call it the "other side," affectionately--got in, they would have made regulations much, much tougher.

Source: Fox News Town Halls at the Scranton Cultural Center , Mar 5, 2020

Don't micromanage every rain puddle and drainage ditch

Q: Many Republicans have praised the president's deregulatory push especially around rules around the environment. The Heritage Foundation says that Trump's administration's rollbacks have saved the country $33 billion in regulatory funds. So let's hear from the president talking about that about two weeks ago:

President Trump: Working with Republicans in Congress, we slashed 30,000 pages of federal regulations. Government will no longer try to micromanage every rain puddle, and every drainage ditch on private land.

Q: Isn't that something Republicans should be excited about?

Bill Weld: No, it is not. And the regulations that the president has rolled back are regulations dear to my heart to protect clean air and clean water in the United States. I'm a lifelong environmentalist. The Republican Party has a rich tradition in conserving our environment.

Source: Business Insider 2019 GOP presidential primary debate , Sep 24, 2019

WOTUS 2018: limited definition of protected waterways

Vast amounts of wetlands and thousands of miles of waterways would no longer be federally protected by the Clean Water Act under a new proposal by the Trump administration. The proposal would change the EPA's definition of "waters of the United States," or WOTUS, limiting the types of waterways that fall under federal protection to major waterways, their tributaries, and adjacent wetlands. The change aims to "provide states and landowners the certainty they need to manage their natural resources and grow local economies," said the EPA acting administrator.

Republican opponents, agriculture groups and real estate developers have decried the Obama administration's 2015 rule--which included smaller streams and tributaries--as a regulatory overreach.

As a candidate and president, Donald Trump painted the Obama-era rule in a similar light, calling it "one of the worst examples of federal regulation," and making its repeal and revision a priority for his administration.

Source: NPR.org on 2018 Trump Administration, "EPA Water Protection" , Dec 11, 2018

Cutting overbearing regulations helps farmers & builders

Some of the environmental regulations that I cut--they have the most beautiful titles. And sometimes [I say to myself] I'm going to close my eyes and sign this, because I'm going to get killed on this one. I get so much thanks. The country knows what I'm doing. We couldn't build, we couldn't farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmentalism. It is crazy. And I signed certain bills, I would have farmers behind me and have house builders behind me.
Source: Speech at the 2018 CPAC Convention , Feb 23, 2018

Overrule Fisheries Commission and allow more fish harvesting

The Trump administration, in an unprecedented decision, has rejected the recommendation of a commission that has long overseen fishing issues along the East Coast, raising deep concerns about political meddling in the ongoing preservation of fragile stocks from Maine to Florida.

More specifically, the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stirred worries about the consequences for summer flounder, one of the most fished species in the Northeast. Ross earlier this month dismissed the findings of the 75-year-old Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which concluded that New Jersey was violating a conservation plan for summer flounder that all the other states in the compact approved.

The decision, which effectively allows New Jersey to harvest more summer flounder, marked the first time the federal government had disregarded such a recommendation by the commission, and it drew a swift rebuke from state officials along the East Coast.

Source: Boston Globe's David Abel on 2018 Trump Administration , Jul 25, 2017

We're going to put regulation industry out of business

We're preparing bold action to lift the restrictions on American energy, including shale oil, natural gas and beautiful clean coal and we're going to put our miners back to work. Miners are going back to work, folks. Sorry to tell you that, but they're going back to work. We have begun a historic program to reduce the regulations that are crushing our economy, crushing. And not only our economy, crushing our jobs because companies can't hire. We're going to put the regulation industry out of work and out of business. And by the way, I want regulation. I want to protect our environment, I want regulations for safety, I want all of the regulations that we need and I want them to be so strong and so tough, but we don't need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us non-competitive overseas with other companies from other countries, that we don't need.
Source: Speech at the 2017 CPAC Convention , Feb 24, 2017

Regulations by unelected officials reward special interests

Q: What steps will you take to protect biological diversity?

TRUMP: The federal executive branch has continued to expand its reach and impact. Today, we have agencies filled with unelected officials who have been writing rules and regulations that cater to special interests and that undermine the foundational notion of our government that should be responsive to the people. When these circumstances occur, there is an imbalance that rewards special interests and punishes the people who should benefit the most from the protection of species and habitat. In a Trump administration, there will be shared governance of our public lands and we will empower state and local governments to protect our wildlife and fisheries. Laws that tilt the scales toward special interests must be modified to balance the needs of society with the preservation of our valuable living resources. My administration will strike that balance by bringing all stakeholders to the table to determine the best approach.

Source: ScienceDebate.org: 20 questions for 2016 presidential race , Oct 9, 2016

Cut the EPA; what they do is a disgrace

Q: Would you cut departments?

TRUMP: Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations.

Q: Who's going to protect the environment?

TRUMP: We'll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can't destroy businesses.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2015

Asbestos got a bad rap from miners & mob-led movement

Asbestos is the greatest fireproofing material ever used, and everybody in the construction industry knows it. It is also 100% safe, once applied. But early on, asbestos got a bad rap because of the fact that miners who were digging asbestos for many years would often develop asbestosis, and therefore people thought that asbestos was not safe. I'm not saying it's the greatest material to work with. I'm only saying it's the safest material in terms of fire. A huge and concerted effort was made to have asbestos removed from buildings, causing tremendous dislocation and destruction and creating a new problem: asbestos floating in the air.

I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented. Millions of truckloads of this incredible fireproofing material were taken to special "dump sites" because of this stupid law.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 83-4 , Oct 27, 1997

Bureaucratic land use reviews make projects unbuildable

[In planning an NYC project] I identified my bloodiest battle: the Uniform Land Use Review Process. ULURP is an impossible situation. All applicants are approved by the Board of Estimate, composed of the 5 borough presidents, the city council president, and the comptroller. In order to move from one level to the next in the approval process--from the community board to the City Planning Commission & so on--the applicant is forced to negotiate blind, clueless as to the opponent's demands. It's a circus. And it often produces approval packages that are essentially unbuildable.

Koch decided he'd change all this. I was optimistic--until I learned of his plan. In his infinite wisdom, Koch created yet another bureaucratic entity, the Charter Revision Commission. It was a complete disaster. The process became more cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming than ever. I was appalled. Nothing, I had thought, could have made this process more inefficient, more ill-conceived, but I was wrong.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.157 , Oct 27, 1997

Signed bill to loosen restrictions on predator controls.

Trump voted YEA Disapprove Subsistence Hunting Rule on ANWR

Library of Congress Summary: This joint resolution nullifies the rule finalized by the Department of the Interior on Aug. 5, 2016, relating to non-subsistence takings of wildlife and public participation and closure procedures on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.

Case for voting YES by House Republican Policy Committee: The Fish and Wildlife Service rule--which lays claim to more than 20% of Alaska--violates ANILCA (Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act) and the Alaska Statehood Compact. Not only does [the existing 2016 rule] undermine Alaska's ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government.

Case for voting NO by the Sierra Club (April 6, 2017):

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate, 52-47-1, March 21; passed House, 225-193-12, Feb. 16; signed by Pres. Trump April 3.
Source: Congressional vote 18-HJR69 on Feb 16, 2017

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