Published on August 18th, 2020 | by Johnna Crider0
Trump Cements His Anti-Public Lands Legacy With Arctic Refuge Drilling Plan
August 18th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
Many presidents have their legacies. Abraham Lincoln’s presidency saw us through the Civil War and he signed the Emancipation Proclamation that declared by law that the United States had to free all the slaves. We have Jimmy Carter, who focused on expanding human rights. Some of the challenges of his presidency included a major energy crisis along with high inflation and unemployment. He opened U.S. relations with China and was the first to install solar panels at the White House.
Some presidents weren’t that great, such as Andrew Jackson, who was a slaver and also believed in ethnic cleansing. George W. Bush used the false idea of weapons of mass destruction to invade Iraq. That said, in the face of 9/11, he didn’t call female political opponents “nasty women.” Instead, he united this country.
With President Trump, his legacy will overshadow the worst of the U.S. presidents. Not only does he have numerous sexual assault charges against him, but he’s also mocked disabled reporters, divided this country to the point that we haven’t seen since the Civil War, and openly plays his base — luring them in to hate anyone who doesn’t support him. And this is just the tip of that moldy iceberg.
Trump’s Anti-Public Land Legacy And The Arctic Refuge Drilling Plan
Today, HuffPost published an article stating that Trump has finalized the Arctic Refuge Drilling Plan and that this cemented his “anti-public lands legacy.” The president, the article shared, will be known for his war on protected land. The Trump administration’s new plan will open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. This sets the stage for oil and gas companies to lease land all across the refuge’s 1.56 million-acre coastal plain, and this could start happening even before the November election.
In a statement to media, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was also a fossil fuel lobbyist at one time, said: “The establishment of this program is a major milestone. It’s not the end of the leasing process, but it is a very, very significant milestone.”
The refuge is often called America’s Serengeti. It covers more than 19 million acres in northeastern Alaska. It’s home to polar bears, caribou, moose, and many, many species of migratory birds. Known as the 1002 Area, this refuge has been the bone that oil companies have been fighting conservationists for. It looks like the oil companies and the Republicans that support them are winning. For decades, Republicans have tried to allow oil companies to drill there. In 2017, the GOP passed a tax law that required the Interior Department approve at least two lease sales for drilling. Each sale should cover no fewer than 400,000 acres.
In an interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said that he should go down as a great environmental president. I laughed out loud for about 10 minutes after reading that. It wasn’t a joyous laugh, but a bitter one. “We may or may not do it,” he said. “We are looking at different things in Alaska. I’ve been very good to Alaska,” and added, “in theory, I should go down as a great environmental president.” Ha!
Environmental groups, the article noted, were outraged. Adam Kolton, the executive director at Alaska Wilderness League, said in a statement, “Our climate is in crisis, oil prices have cratered, and major banks are pulling out of Arctic financing right and left. And yet the Trump administration continues its race to liquidate our nation’s last great wilderness, putting at risk the indigenous peoples and iconic wildlife that depend on it.”
Gina McCarthy, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, also shared her thoughts in a statement: “America has safeguarded the refuge for decades, and we will not allow the administration to strip that protection away now.”
Trump’s Legacy Is Saturated In Oil, Greed, And Corruption
Whether he is making up fake executive orders about drilling off of the coast of Florida or using the Oval Office to market Goya products, Trump will definitely leave a legacy behind. Not only will he be known as the president who doesn’t blend his makeup properly, but his environmental track record reads like a rap sheet.
Trump has turned the Environmental Protection Agency into an anti-science and anti-environment organization that does the bare minimum (that’s generous) at protection. Under the EPA, Trump has dismantled Obama’s Waters of the US Rule that protected my and many Americans’ drinking water. The agency, now run by fossil fuel lobbyists, has also taken away the rights of states and tribes to protect their own water.
Trump’s rap sheet includes more than crimes against the environment. There are crimes against America as well. He will go down in history as the U.S. president who tried to sabotage an election, destroyed the environment, and allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to die due to his stance that the coronavirus was a Democratic hoax.
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