President Donald Trump plans to bash the "Green New Deal" in an environmental speech on Monday in which he plans to showcase his administration's handling of climate change in a way that's economically efficient. "The progress we have made cleaning the air, protecting health, and cutting carbon emissions has happened in spite of him, not because of him".
"We continue to clean up the air".
During his speech, Trump held up his decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, the cleanup of some polluted sites around the country and the opening of some public lands for hunters as examples of positive moves made by his administration.
He also repeatedly emphasized the role a strong economy plays in environmental protections. Trump said the U.S.is leading the way in reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of countries in the Paris climate accord that he walked away from two years ago. "It'll kill millions of jobs". A recent Gallup Poll also found that more Americans favor environmental protection over economic growth.
As Trump rolled out his presentation, a long list of environmental groups issued indictments of the president's record, from promotion of oil and gas drilling on public lands to deregulation of energy companies.
The United States also slipped in the global environmental rankings to No. 27 in 2018 from 26th during the past year of the Obama administration, according to the Environmental Performance Index, a project by Yale and Columbia universities to measure national performance on air, water, forestry and other metrics.
The president added that "I will not stand for it".
At another point, Trump ripped the so-called "Green New Deal", a plan promoted by some Democrats to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years.
"Punishing Americans is never the right way to produce a better environment or a better economy", he said.
Climate change was not mentioned in Trump's speech, nor in an outline released by the White House Monday.
Gore, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his activism on climate change, said that "American voters aren't fooled by the President's attempts to cover up his failed environmental record".
Trump called several members of his Cabinet to the lectern in the East Room to praise his administration's policies on the environment. His administration tried to eliminate or slash the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative three times from the federal budget, but it was reinstated after bipartisan pushback from Great Lakes leaders in Congress.
The Midwest is experiencing the impacts of climate change now.
"His environmental record is clear - and very bad", said former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg in a statement.
Jill Tauber, vice president of litigation, climate and energy at Earthjustice, which has filed 120 lawsuits against the administration, ridiculed Trump for claiming that his agenda protected the environment.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of climate change - even when it comes to reports compiled by his own administration.
"There's no hiding his massive assault on crucial protections for our air, water and climate", said Hartl, the center's government affairs director. The US - along with nine other countries - is ranked no. 1 for cleanest drinking water in the world by the 2018 Environmental Performance Index produced by Yale and Columbia universities and the World Economic Forum. However, the EPI states the U.S. ranks 10th for air quality and 29th for water and sanitation quality.
"We have the cleanest air in the world in the United States, and it's gotten better since I'm President". We have the cleanest water; it's crystal clean.
Trump did claim some environmental progress for his administration, predicting carbon emissions in the United States would drop this year and in 2020 and stating the government is now strengthening standards of lead and copper in drinking water for the first time in almost 30 years.