President Donald Trump held an event to tout his administration’s previous work on the environment Monday during a speech at the White House, despite having rolled back numerous regulations intended to fight the climate crisis.
“From day one my administration has made it a top priority to ensure that America is among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet,” Trump said in the East Room. “We want the cleanest air. We want crystal clean water and that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re working on so hard.”
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 also took time to criticize the Democrat-led Green New Deal, which is a vast legislative plan aimed at fighting climate change and would remake substantial parts of the American economy. Trump said the plan would be too expensive and would harm private business
“If you go 150 years from now and we’ve had great success, that’s not a number that’s even thought to be affordable,” Trump said. “It’ll kill millions of jobs. It’ll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans and disproportionately harm minority communities. I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt were among the Cabinet members in attendance.
Trump claimed that he gave his Cabinet secretaries “clear directions to focus on environmental challenges so we can provide the highest quality of life to all Americans.”
“In addition to clean air and clean water that means being good stewards of our public lands, prioritizing cleanup of our polluted lands that threaten our most vulnerable citizens and threaten them very dearly, and implementing pro-growth policies to implement innovations and new technologies which improve American life and America’s environment,” he added.
Wheeler, during the event, spoke about the administration’s improvements in environmental monitors like air pollutants, as well as touting the administration’s