The onslaught of Trump actions has begun.
Today’s executive order revives the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines – no surprise there. Trump is surrounded by the oil industry. He says, “We are going to renegotiate some of the terms,” which could mean giving the US government some of the revenue, and he signed an action encouraging pipeline developers to use US-made steel.
350.org, who led the fight against Keystone, says: Trump is pushing these pipelines for one reason: because people-powered movements stopped them. He wants us demoralized and defeated, so that he can spend the next 4 years working with Big Oil and his corrupt cabinet to build as many coal, oil and gas projects as he can with no opposition. It won’t work. Today’s order will only reignite the widespread grassroots opposition stopping so many fossil fuel projects across the country. Trump is about to meet the fossil fuel resistance head on.
here we go again!
Other actions are frightening and chilling, pointing to the rise of Authoritarianism:
- The White House phone line for citizen comments is closed. This comes after his inaugural speech: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.”
- A government-wide freeze on hiring new employees (except Defense) is in effect, as well as a freeze on all pending regulations, such as the Department of Energy’s recent efficiency standards.
- The EPA is on lock-down. It’s been told to remove the Climate website and to freeze all grants and contracts, and a chilling memo provided to Huffington Post instructs employees not to speak with the press about any subject – there will be no press releases, social media posts, blogs or new website content.
“A Digital Strategist will be coming on board to oversee social media. “Upcoming webinars and speaking engagements will be reviewed to decide which ones go forward.
- Department of Agriculture employees also received a memo instructing its research division not to release anything to the public, including press releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content. Other departments on lock-down: Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health
- No tweeting allowed for National Park Service employees after they posted the now infamous photos of the crowds for Trump’s inauguration versus Obama’s.
- The Climate Page on WhiteHouse.gov disappeared the moment Trump took office, and the Department of Energy home page is wiped clean.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly canceled February’s Climate and Health Summit without explanation.
- The House revived the Holman rule, which allows Congress to cut salaries of federal employees they don’t like to as low as $1 a year! This is after passing rules that make it easy to obliterate regulations and make new ones impossible. Tell your congressman to vote NO on the Holman rule!
This is why people at the EPA, NASA, Energy Department (DOE) and others have been frantically copying environmental and climate data onto independent servers. They are terrified the data will disappear.
Huge Cuts Coming
Trump’s team is recommending federal spending cuts that add up to $10.5 trillion over 10 years. The cuts come from the right-wing Heritage Foundation blueprint and focus on the EPA, DOE, Commerce, Transportation, Justice and State Departments. “Wasteful” funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be gone, something Republicans have wanted for years.
On the chopping block for elimination:
- “Corporate welfare programs”: Minority Business Development Agency; Economic Development Administration; International Trade Administration; Manufacturing Extension Partnership. That saves $900 million in 2017.
- Department of Justice: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; Violence Against Women Grants; Legal Services Corporation; steep cuts for the Civil Rights and Environment and Natural Resources divisions.
- State Department: no funds for the Paris Climate Change Agreement and United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; end the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
- Department of Energy: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Office of Fossil Energy (research on low emission fossil technologies); funding cuts for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research. After all, science is no longer necessary, right?
- Environmental Protection Agency: Initial cuts of $800 million by eliminating state and tribal assistance grants; terminating climate programs, “environmental programs and management.” Programs to be ended include Clean Power Plan; Car and truck fuel economy standards; Waters of the US Rule; Total Maximum Daily Load of pollutants in Chesapeake Bay. The memo also states: “Unless major reforms of the agency’s use of science and economics are achieved, EPA will be able to return to its bad old ways as soon as an establishment administration takes office.”
On the government hiring freeze, David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, says this will “mean longer lines at Social Security offices, fewer workplace safety inspections, less oversight of environmental polluters, and greater risk to our nation’s food supply and clean water systems.” Since it doesn’t affect Defense employees, it will disproportionately impact all other agencies – who are already reeling from steep cuts under Republican control of Congress.
More coming tomorrow …
What’s also chilling is the influence of the “alt-right” in Trump’s White House. With Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon at the helm, who do you think he’s hiring for his staff? More Breitbart people, of course.