If you, the reader, are uncertain whether to support Trump or whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be, I urge you to consider the devastating reduction in protections for clean air, clean water, and clean land (thus also clean air/water and food) under the Trump administration’s ‘hate anything Obama’ approach that has put industry blowhards in charge of the Environmental Protection Administration, an agency created on December 2, 1970 to ensure federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement of environmental protection.
(Image of Trump at West Virginia campaign rally in August 2017, from CNBC article on Trump rollbacks of regulation, cited below)
Under Trump, we have instead a complete disregard for the environment, a view that harks back to the times when rich owners of factories, mines, or corporate farms exploited and polluted land, waters, and people in their greed for profits. For example, in July 15, 2019, the New York Times reported that the Government Accountability Office found that the administration “did not consistently ensure” that its appointees to EPA panels satisfied federal requirements. This was during 2017, when the Trump administration dismissed academic scientists from EPA advisory boards in order to replace them with industry-connected appointees. Panels that had in the past included a very high percentage (more than 80%) of academic scientists were reduced precipitously under Scott Pruitt, Trump’s first EPA head. Pruitt, of course, resigned in scandal (as so many in the Trump adminsitration have done) in 2018 after loading EPA advisory panels with industry hacks . See, e.g., E.P.A. Broke Rules in Shake-Up of Science Panels, Federal Watchdog Says, NY Times, July 15, 2019; Removing Academic Scientists from Science Advisory Panels, Harvard Environmental & Energy Law Program, Feb. 26, 2018 (noting replacement of scientists with industry insiders and consultants, including a climate change skeptic, following Scott Pruitt’s October 31, 2017 directive). Scientists removed from the panels refused often to be silent. For example, some formed their own air pollution panel after Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s next EPA administrator, disbanded the Particulate Matter Review Panel in October 2018. It had “some of the nation’s top scientists, who were tasked with reviewing how soot and other microscopic air pollutants impact human health.” Rebecca Beitsch, Scientists booted from EPA panel form their own group, The Hill (Sept 26, 2019).