If there’s anything Donald Trump and his cabal have made clear from the start, it’s that every single environmental protection currently in place must be repealed. And they must be repealed in the name of jobs and business incentives. Never mind that this claim has been refuted dozens of times. Never mind that complying with, say, the clean air act might, in fact, save money. These arguments are irrelevant. Especially if the protections were put in place by Obama.
But changing the environmental laws is not a speedy process. Orders like the one to mine the national monuments, or allow coal companies to dump coal tar runoff into the water or the go ahead to continue spraying crops with glyphosate or open up our coasts to offshore drilling or allow elephant parts to be brought back to the country again must be reviewed, sometimes for more than a year. Then the lawsuits will have to be settled and, as anyone who has ever read Bleak House knows, those take time.
The fact that the Ninth Circuit Court rejected the Trump Administration’s petition for a writ of mandamus and found in favor of Juliana vs. United States is a good indicator that things just might not go the way Trump and his donors want. Juliana vs. United states is the groundbreaking climate lawsuit that was brought by Our Children’s Trust on behalf of 21 children that accuses the government of violating “the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.” (link).
It could take years. And, the way things are going for Donald Trump, it’s likely he’ll be in prison long before his full destructive agenda can possibly be enacted.
Randi Hacker’s essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Punch and Spy and on the Huffington Post.