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Federal Judge Goes Directly Against Donald Trump’s Agenda: Go Back To The Drawing Board

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President Donald Trump does not care about the environment. As a capitalist, as someone who rose to the presidency largely thanks to the fact that he has spent most of his life at the very top of the Washington right wing establishment, he does not see why he should care about reducing the catastrophic consequences of climate change and protect the world for future generations. President Trump has said in the past that global warming is actually a “Chinese hoax”, which fits in with his usual pattern of simply blaming foreigners for anything and everything.

The result of that is that Trump has spent much of his time as President of the United States and leader of the free world so far deliberately undermining America’s efforts to make itself more environmentally friendly by helping his friends in the fossiel fuels industry get a whole lot richer. For the two and a bit years that he has been in office so far, Trump has been dedicated to promoting coal wherever possible. However, his efforts have just suffered a major setback, thanks to a legal stumbling block:

A federal judge late Friday delivered a significant setback to the Trump administration’s policy of promoting coal, ruling that the Interior Department acted illegally when it sought to lift an Obama-era moratorium on coal mining on public lands. The decision, by Judge Brian Morris of the United States District Court of the District of Montana, does not reinstate President Barack Obama’s 2016 freeze on new coal mining leases on public lands. That policy was part of an effort by the Obama administration to curtail the burning of coal, a major producer of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

But the court ruling does say that the 2017 Trump administration policy, enacted by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to overturn Mr. Obama’s coal mining ban did not include adequate studies of the environmental effects of the mining, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, or NEPA, one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. “Federal Defendants’ decision not to initiate the NEPA process proves arbitrary and capricious,” Judge Morris wrote. The decision means that “the Interior Department has to go back to the drawing board if they want to continue to sell coal mining leases on public lands — they have to do a better job of legally and scientifically justifying this,” said Jenny Harbine, an attorney for Earthjustice, who took part in the oral arguments against the Trump administration.

Ouch. I wonder how many more of Trump’s policies could simply be blocked or reversed for similar reasons.


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