President Donald Trump is making a concerted effort to undermine climate change science and undermine the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report released Tuesday.
The report, by the conservative Heritage Foundation, lays out the administration’s approach to climate change, which is already being challenged by Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, and the president’s nominee for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt.
“The EPA is under the leadership of Scott Pruitt, who has a long history of undermining the EPA’s authority to enforce environmental laws, including Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act,” the report reads.
“Pruitt is also the nominee for Secretary of Energy, who oversees the EPA.
As the head of the Interior Department, he is responsible for the management of fossil fuel resources, including coal, oil, and natural gas, and for implementing policies designed to encourage the extraction and use of those resources.”
The report highlights several actions Pruitt is expected to take, including:Pruiter has also said he wants to scrap the Clean Power Plan, which would limit emissions from the nation’s power plants.
The administration has also been moving to undermine the EPA through its “bailouts” and “regulatory capture” of state and local governments.
“There are a number of policies that Pruitt is pushing, including eliminating the Clean Air Management Act, which limits emissions from power plants, and other actions that are designed to increase the economic burdens on state and municipal governments, which have disproportionately been impacted by climate change,” the Heritage Foundation report states.
“These actions are designed not to protect the public health and safety of the American people, but rather to benefit the fossil fuel industry, and to make it more profitable to drill for oil and gas in those states.”
While Trump has previously expressed support for the coal industry, Pruitt’s nomination to the EPA is widely seen as a key test of whether the president will continue to support the coal-mining industry.
Pruitt’s confirmation hearings are set to begin on Monday, with Democrats pushing Pruitt to prove his commitment to protecting the coal mining industry, despite his history of supporting the coal industries.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is causing climate change and has repeatedly cast doubt on the existence of human-caused climate change.
Pruitt is the third nominee to Trump’s cabinet in less than a month, following former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.