Al Gore says Trump undoing environmental regs has done less 'damage' than he once feared
by Diana Stancy Correll
| August 14, 2018 12:03 AM
President Trump's efforts to unravel environmental policies has not caused as much "damage" as former Vice President Al Gore once feared.
But Gore, a vocal environmental activist, remains wary for a number of reasons, including increased leeway on regulations for coal ash dumps, where toxic metals can be held, after Andrew Wheeler, the acting secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, provided more flexibility to more than 400 U.S. coal-fired power plants.
“There are hundreds of other environmental procedures and regulations that Trump’s group has begun to undo,” he told the Associated Press. “So he’s doing some damage, but overall I would say less than I had feared.”
Trump, he said, "has had less of an impact so far than I feared that he would. Someone said last year his administration is a blend of malevolence and incompetence. I think they’ve made some mistakes in some of the moves they’ve made. The courts have blocked some of what they wanted to do as a result.”
Gore conceded that the nature of the U.S. government poses challenges for the executive branch to totally overhaul regulations and that Congress has acted in some cases regarding environmental protections.
“The U.S. system has a lot of inherent resilience,” Gore said. “It’s hard for one person, even the president, to change things very quickly if the majority of American people don’t want them changed.”
Gore also pointed to the Paris climate accord as an area where the Trump administration has not taken action. Trump announced in 2017 the U.S. would pull out of the international Paris Agreement, arguing that doing so would save the U.S. economy trillions of dollars.
Critics of Trump's decision said the move shows that climate change is not a priority for this administration when most scientists have said it is a burgeoning issue.
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