On 8th November, 2016, Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. He promised to destroy Obama-era environmental sanctions, claiming that they stifle economic growth. After campaigning on climate change skepticism and support for the U.S. fossil fuel industry, he nominated Scott Pruitt, an opponent of active environmental regulation, to head the EPA. Almost immediately, the term ‘climate change’ disappeared from the EPA website. Pruitt began work dismantling clean air and water rules, sometimes resulting in high-profile battles with environmental groups. He weakened prosecution of environmental criminals, deeply slashed EPA budgets in favour of military spending, and effectively ignored the years-long water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Under Trump’s executive order, Pruitt attempted to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan in March 2017, but was eventually blocked by the Supreme Court. With much thanks to Pruitt’s influence as a presidential advisor, Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement in June 2017. In a televised interview, Pruitt called the agreement ‘a bad deal for America’.
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