Donald Trump: the Environmentalist Candidate | Connor Tomlinson
‘Environmentalist’ probably isn’t the word you’d come to associate with President Trump. But language matters less than effect: despite his formerly dismissive attitude—calling global warming change a Chinese hoax in 2012—President Trump has been a paragon of ecological conservation in his first four-year term in office. His achievements are in diametric opposition to that of his gaff-addled opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, whose stint as a Senator for one fifth of America’s national history was blighted by plagiarism, corruption, ineptitude and inaction.
The 2019 EPA report cites the President’s Affordable Clean Energy rule (replacing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan) as projected to accrue between $120 and $730 million in annual net benefits, and reduce CO2 emissions from energy production to below 2005 levels by 2030. The Great American Outdoors, Save Our Seas, and Natural Resources Management acts create 100,000 jobs independent of taxpayer subsidisation, over 700,000 acres of new wilderness, three new national monuments, and dedicates $50 million to ocean cleanup. His $144 million investment in the USDA improved water and waste-management infrastructure in 25 states. He has joined the One Trillion Trees Initiative, and legalised industrial hemp and cannabis oil.
Biden’s environmental agenda lifts directly from the UK Conservatives’ rhetoric: from the identical ‘Build Back Better’ slogan, to his net-zero by 2050 promise; a deadline rendered nonsensical by Biden’s previous statements that we only have a decade left to reduce our emissions before irreparable damage is done. His environmental manifesto is estimated to cost $2 trillion over four years; paid for by increased corporate tax. His and VP candidate Harris’ rhetoric about fracking has been a point of contention, with both claiming at the debates that they were against bans. However, Harris, at the CNN climate change town-hall during the Democrat primaries, said there was ‘no question’ that she supported a fracking ban, and Biden ‘no new ‘fracking’ projects would be conducted under his administration on the primaries debate stage.
Conversely, through repatriating fossil fuel production, President Trump has forged an affordable pathway to national decarbonisation. American taxpayers were spared the costly Trans-Canada lawsuit over President Obama’s obstructive action, when Trump’s executive order resumed construction on both the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines. By eradicating America’s reliance on human-rights-violating nations for its energy supply, the President has both reasserted the geopolitical power of Western democracy on the global stage, and improved the fossil fuel extraction progress by incorporating pollution-mitigating technologies, like Carbon Capture and Storage. As such, forty-six years after Nixon announced Project Independence, the U.S.A. has achieved its goal of ending net oil imports, instead becoming a prime exporter of affordable fuel. Simultaneously, the nation has led the world in annual emissions reductions; all while seeing record economic growth before COVID-19.
A Biden administration would also likely see the U.S. re-join the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the trade conglomerate whose Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions immunise fossil fuel companies from prosecution under international legal frameworks, and make taxpayers liable to costly lawsuits when member nations attempt to decarbonise whilst still obligated to buy oil from said companies. Biden also pledges to re-join the Paris Climate Accords, which has overseen the drastic, unpunished increase of emissions from member states like China—who Biden helped convince join the Accords—and India. Nevermind the hypocrisy of the TPP being opposed by Democrat Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren; these oligarchic organisations are unfit for purpose as they currently inefficiently operate, and would be a great cost to the American taxpayer to have the U.S. re-join them at this time.
Of additional environmental relevance is Trump’s stalwart approach to border security. With half of Guatemala’s workers employed in an agricultural industry threatened with collapse by depleted land and arid conditions, Venezuela’s collapsed economy contingent on a depleted petrostate model, and 60% of the $83 billion coffee industry facing extinction, the U.S.A. will see an even greater influx of migrant caravans at its borders in coming years. Rewilding groups like Sky Island Alliance have raised concerns over the repealing of conservation laws, and obstruction of jaguar movement corridors, in pursuit of constructing the border wall.
However, it’s a fair estimation that—both for security, and environmental sustainability—national sovereignty is the paramount concern, even when faced with these unfortunate disruptions to American wildlife. It would be unquestionably inhumane to continue facilitating the epidemic of 30% of children claiming asylum being abductees, and 80% of women and girls making the journey being sexually assaulted, over comparably minor concerns about animal migration routes. President Trump’s additional millions dedicated to directly fighting these trafficking gangs sharply contrasts Biden’s endorsement of providing Medicare to illegal aliens (despite not endorsing Medicare for All for American citizens). Bidens expansion of social welfare programs only incentivises an influx of illegal border crossings, and enriches the criminal enterprises subsidising said people-smuggling.
During the first Presidential debate, Biden renounced support for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’, despite citing it as a ‘crucial framework’ for environmental action on his campaign website. Congresswoman Cortez’s bill—co-sponsored by Senator Harris—sought to sneak in race-based reparations, universal basic income for those ‘unwilling to work’, and taxpayer-subsidised healthcare alongside retrofitting every American building, and decommissioning of combustion engines.
President Trump has since joked about getting trains to Hawaii, and the abolition of cattle farming, following the laughable proposals to ban air travel and ‘farting cows’ in the Green New Deal’s accompanying FAQ document. There’s, at least, incongruency—at worst, outright deception—surrounding the Biden campaign’s environmental agenda. When said uncertainty could result in a $93 trillion socialist takeover of the American economy, transport, and healthcare industry, it should not be understated as to how large a risk voting for this lack of clarity is.
The Biden campaign’s climate agenda is authored by Congresswoman Cortez, alongside Senator Sanders, and co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash. Both Sanders and Sunrise have advocated increasing funding and access to unrestricted abortion, with Sanders advocating it as a method of population control to decrease CO2 emissions at a CNN televised town-hall on climate change. This unpalatable Club-of-Rome-esque anti-human sentiment, running rife through groups like Extinction Rebellion, and now the Democrat party, is an unconscionable and unelectable ideology, that makes which box to tick on the November election ballots a clear moral choice for Americans.
Biden has also endorsed former primary opponent Senator Cory Booker’s environmental justice bill, pushing for racially ‘Equitable Economic Opportunity in a Clean Energy Future’. The bill mandates federal agencies ‘mitigate the inequitable distribution’ of ‘disproportionate environmental and human health impacts’ on ‘populations of color’, ‘indigenous’, and ‘low-income’ communities.
President Trump, however, has already addressed these issues in low-income communities, providing $64.6 million to over one-hundred and fifty communities with Brownfields grants; seventy percent of which were in low-income areas. The President’s supporters, like Scott Pressler, have also organised independent community-action clean-up campaigns in Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Tennessee. As Trump often says, more has been done to improve the living conditions of low-income Americans in his four years, than in Biden’s forty-seven.
President Trump is proof one does not have to be in lockstep with the rhetoric of doomsday proselytisers and guilty-conscience aristocrats to have a positive impact on Earth. He might be brash, boorish, and obscene, but the President’s policies are demonstrably more effective than the alternative, and has earned him the title of ‘environmentalist’. When the dust lays thick over the crockery of the Capitol Hill china-shop, another rampage by a great orange bull is just what’s needed to invigorate a restock. For the good of America’s people, its lands, and the global environment, the United States deserves four more years of President Donald Trump.