Today, President Trump proposed to roll back standards on car emissions. It’s a blow to Obama era standards that required automakers to build cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles. Allegedly the move will create new jobs and inject fresh life into the economy, though it’s unclear how. Welcomed by Republicans and people who hate clean air, the relaxation of standards marks a very significant, stupid, and unnecessary step backwards.
Too often the job of the environmentalists is to spin losses. To stare a major defeat like this in the face and make it seem less awful. Sometimes there isn’t a spin to be made. Sometimes it’s right to be sad and mourn the direction our President is taking us.
We know we cannot afford to lean further into the fossil fuel economy. That we must transition to clean renewables as fast as possible. Be upset about this. Be angry. Be angry that our President is actively working to undermine the planet in favor of profit. We live in a society where the lingua franca is profits and development. Where the litmus test for progress is measured in dollars and cents. President Trump couched his decision in the shroud of economy, as though its ability to generate income (again unclear how) negates the massive environmental impacts. A robust economy does not justify imperiling the planet and the people who live on it.
We at the Center will continue our work of challenging the distorted value structure of profits over people. Join us.