It was a week of good news and bad news for Trump and his administration. When he arrives in Atlanta on Wednesday he may take a victory lap after Jeff Sessions lost his senatorial re-election bid in Alabama. But the bad news continues to percolate with the release of his niece’s book, which is packed with negative disclosures and a denigrating psychological profile of her uncle.
There was no variance in the news for most Americans with most of it bad as Trump contemplates sweeping changes to environmental laws in order to mobilize the long overdue infrastructure projects.
In advance of his scheduled announcement on the changes, advocates of environmental justice have criticized the action, seeing it as a clear infringement on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), put in place 50 years ago to protect air, water, and land. Trump, as he has done in so many other socioeconomic issues, has imposed his authority that has enraged activists who insist that he has ignored federal agencies and their approval of such moves.
For more than a half century low-income communities and communities of color have looked to the NEPA to safeguard them from environmental intrusions that are harmful to their well-being. “These watered-down rules would turn the whole purpose of the law on its head, giving a greater voice to the worst-polluting industries while shutting out the communities with the most to lose and fewest resources to defend themselves against pollution and other harms,” Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, said in a statement.
Setbacks for most Americans who are defenseless against the Trump measures will be celebrated by the oil and gas industry.
Environmentalists cheered the decision earlier this month when a court ordered a shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a fossil fuel pipeline similar to the controversial Keystone one that was halted.
On Wednesday, Trump caused another uproar from Black Lives Matter activists when in response to a question about the disproportionate number of Black men killed by the police, he said, “So are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. More white people.”
Of course, Trump was wrong about the “more white people,” since several reports indicated that Black men are four times more likely than white men to be killed by the police.