For decades, sustainable growth has been one of the goals of many nations. Before the 18th century, as the industrial revolution began to set in, this growth was initially based on agriculture. Presently, with the injection of more resources and technologies, many countries are developing their industries. Countries have learned in the process of technological growth that a variety of economic practices have a detrimental impact on the environment. In response, countries have attempted to pass regulations aimed at removing more environmentally sustainable technologies that are detrimental to the environment. The US, being one of the most industrialized countries, has been a role model by committing itself to environmental conservation through controls on its industrial operations. During his campaign, President Donald Trump expressed his dissent for the rule that the US has played in environmental conservation. He argued that effort by the US to regulate and abandon certain industrial operations such as fossil fuels was negatively impacting the economy by rendering many capital and human resource factors redundant. Trump’s presidency has been characterized by efforts to restore traditional industries by repealing conservation laws put in place by his predecessors. These actions are a threat to the environment and should be stopped. This paper will focus on Trump’s action to rescind the water rule. It will explain the irrationality of the President’s decisions and the dangers that they pose to social welfare.
Trump’s Policy Agenda
President Trump’s policy agenda has been that of rolling back the laws and policies by the previous regimes targeting environmental conservation. One key action by the president has been the signing of the Waters of the US (WOTUS) executive order that rescinded the Clean Water Act rule that was put in place during Obama’s era (The White House, n.p). This executive order eased the regulations that limited the activities of farmers, homebuilder groups and industries whose activities affect water bodies (Mufson aand Eilperin, n.p).
The History of the Policy
Trump’s predecessors expressed their commitment towards environmental conservation. Many leaders expressed their commitment to ecofriendly energy and the importance of keeping the environment free from pollutants. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was constituted to protect the environment and monitor the use of energy-efficient products that would help the country save money. The subsequent presidents have been making efforts to strengthen the EPA (Davenport n.p). President Jimmy Carter pushed the Congress to support his seven-point plan that sought to protect the environment and the urban poor from the effects of industrial pollution. The subsequent presidents have also made efforts to make the work of the EPA easier and reduce the social costs of industrialization. Trumps immediate predecessor, President Obama made one key milestone that touched on pollution of water sources. The Water rule was drafted by a number of stakeholders to explain some of the controversial issues generated by the Clean Water Act of 1972.
Interest Groups Involved
The water rules were drafted by two federal government agencies: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (Daniels n.p). It was supported by environmental conservation groups around the country. On the other hand, groups of individuals and investors whose economic activities interfered with the safety of water sources criticized the water rules because of the strict regulations. They included farmers, homebuilder groups and industrialists. These groups Farmers complained about losing farmland and an increase in the costs of operations.
Bes Evidence for the argument.
Trump’s actions to repeal environmental conservation were based on their short-term economic effects. The aim of the president is to ensure that he maximizes the return hat investors draw from their businesses. The president tends to disregard the implications that his actions have on the environment. It is important to note that the enactment of laws such as the Water Rule was based on research by key stakeholders. The key agencies, the EPA and US Army Marine Corps of Engineers are actively involved in the issue and understand the implications that the laws have on the environment (Daniels n.p). Threfore, the president’s actions against the advice of these agencies will not receive much support in terms of enforcement and this will put environmental conservation in jeopardy.
Involvement of the Congress and the Cabinet
Trump’s action was mainly supported by the Republican congressional members and Speaker Ryan. There were no reports of support from the cabinet. The EPA came out to distance itself from the rescinding of the water rule and warned that limiting its power to control water pollution will compromise the safety of water available for consumption. The congress was heavily involved in rescinding of the water rule (Martinson n.p). In fact, the signing of the executive was done in the presence of more than eight republican senators with others defending the action.
Best Opposing Information
The best justification that trump gave to his order were that the Federal Government by calling it a “massive power grab.” (Halper n.p) By this, the president meant that the Obama administration gave the EPA too much power by increasing the regulations on water bodies.
President Trump has continually insisted on the ned to prioritize the wellbeing of the Americans. To him, this can only be achieved through increase in returns on labour and capital. However, he disregards the social costs that come with pollution, especially on the urban poor who still form a reasonable percentage of the population. Enacting laws that are not supported by key environmental agencies like EPA will negatively impact US efforts towards environmental conservation.
Clean Water Act. 33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq. (1972)
Daniels, Jeff. Trump executive order seeks to roll back controversial Obama water rules. CNBC, February 28, 2017. Web. June 16, 2017.
Davenport, Coral. House GOP dismantles Obama regulation protecting streams from coal mining debris. The New York Times, February 27, 2017. Web. June 16, 2017.
Halper, Evans. Trump calls Obama’s clean water rule ‘horrible, horrible.’ Alaska Dispatch News, February 28, 2017. Web. June 16, 2017.
Martinson, Erica. Sullivan joins Trump for signing of executive order overturning EPA water rule. Alaska Dispatch News, February 28, 2017. Web. June 16, 2017.
Mufson, Steven., and Eilperin, Juliet. Trump prepares rollback of rules on climate, water pollution. The Washington Post, February 20, 2017. Web. June 16, 2017.
The White House. Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule. The White House, February 28, 2017. Web. June 16, 2017.