Earthjustice Denounces Trump’s Power Grab on Pipelines

Trump’s executive orders seek to restrict public input and state authority that protect communities and their land and water


Jill Fitzsimmons, Earthjustice, (202) 919-7907

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.”

Map of over 1,500 oil spills across the US since 2010.
More than 1,500 oil spills have been documented from crude oil pipelines since 2010. Learn more about each by visiting our interactive Oil, Water, and Steel feature and scrolling down to get to the map.(Pipeline Incidents provided by U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration)

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.