The coronavirus has dominated headlines for the past two months. But all the while the Trump administration has continued to pursue other federal policy actions that shape our country and world.
In this lesson, you’ll learn about one such action: In the three years that President Trump has held office, his administration has officially rolled back more than 60 environmental policies, with another 34 rollbacks still in progress.
Take a moment to study the chart below of environmental rollbacks under Mr. Trump. Then, respond to the following questions:
Questions for Writing and Discussion
Read the article, then answer the following questions:
1. What justification has the Trump administration given for dismantling major climate and environmental policies, many put in place by the Obama administration?
2. What are some of the rules and regulations the administration has been repealing, replacing or weakening? Name at least three.
3. A spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency said the agency was “delivering on President Trump’s commitment to return the agency to its core mission: Providing cleaner air, water and land to the American people.” Do you agree that the E.P.A. has delivered on this mission? Why or why not? What evidence supports your response?
4. To what extent has the judicial branch played a role in shaping environmental policy? How do you know?
5. What are the implications of these rollbacks, according to energy and legal analysts? How does this influence your opinion of the Trump administration’s actions?
Look at the chart from the warm-up activity again. How did reading the article give you additional insights into what all those numbers signify?
Next, select one section from the drop-down list at the end of the article, such as water pollution or critters, and read all the related actions the Trump administration has either completed or initiated. Which of those actions, if any, do you think are positive changes for United States policy, based on the short descriptions in the article? Which, if any, do you think are negative policy changes? Why?
Then, choose one of those Trump administration actions to research further. Visit the “Read more” link after the short description. Then answer the following questions:
What was the original environmental, energy or climate rule, before the Trump administration initiated changes?
Why was the rule originally put in place?
Why did the Trump administration reverse this rule?
What will be possible consequences of this rollback?
Do you think the Trump administration’s reversal of this rule is good government policy? Why, or why not?
You may need to do additional research to answer these five questions.