WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works, Foreign Relations, Finance, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees, today released the following response to President Donald Trump’s executive orders that attempt to undercut our country’s bedrock environmental protections.
“President Trump’s latest affront to the Chesapeake Bay is also an affront to the entire concept of states’ rights. The president’s attempts to make it harder for states to challenge pipelines and other new sources of pollution under the Clean Water Act betray a fundamental ignorance of the intent of the environmental review process, which exists largely to ensure citizen participation in matters that can have devastating impacts on people’s homes, lands and communities − as well as public health.
“The president’s action also ignores the clear fact that states can be important – some would say the most important – stewards of our natural resources. To overlook this reality is to deny the decades-long record of the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort, which has amassed numerous successes largely because its driving force comes from the ground up. President Trump’s proposed top-down approach ignores the lessons of history and would elevate corporate profit motives above the quality of life of Marylanders.
That’s probably why even traditionally pro-resource extraction groups like the Western Governors’ Association ‘have repeatedly expressed to this administration and Congress that any legislative or regulatory changes to Section 401 water quality certification program must preserve states’ vital authority under a system of cooperative federalism.’
Another pernicious provision in the executive orders targets some investment funds’ efforts to force publicly traded energy companies to address questions about climate change. President Trump is attempting to give license both to the federal government and the private sector to disregard the incontrovertible evidence that continued reliance on fossil fuels threatens human health, the environment, and our economic and national security. His actions should be soundly rejected.”