President Trump today signed two executive orders that attempt to undermine state authority and environmental protections in order to expedite permits for pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. The following is a statement from Jill Tauber, Earthjustice’s Vice President of Litigation for Climate and Energy:
“President Trump is once again demonstrating that he will do whatever it takes to advance the fossil fuel industry’s agenda. These executive orders are a blatant attempt to rubber-stamp oil and gas projects by curtailing the role of states and communities in making decisions about projects on their land.
“The National Environmental Policy Act gives local communities a voice in infrastructure development, and the Clean Water Act gives states and tribes the right to deny oil and gas projects that endanger their waterways and wetlands. States, tribes, and other local communities have the expertise to assess the threats these projects pose — and they have the most at stake. President Trump’s attempts to silence the public and limit state authority threaten to erode not only our environmental protections, but also the balance of power that is central to our democracy.
“Trump’s executive orders include a number of gifts on the fossil fuel industry’s wish list, including steps to allow liquified natural gas to be transported by rail and by truck. At a time when we need to be rapidly moving towards 100 percent clean energy, this administration is trying to lock in our reliance on dirty energy sources.
“This isn’t the first time President Trump has tried to use executive power to advance dirty energy interests. Just last month, a federal judge declared his order to open up the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to offshore oil and gas drilling unlawful, following an Earthjustice lawsuit. We will continue to stand up for the rule of law and the power of communities to protect their environment.”