Below is a transcript of the video.
(Soundbite of President Trump: This will be the largest-ever cut by far in terms of regulation.)
John Walke, Director, NRDC Clean Air program: I don't think people fully realize how radical the attacks are on the basic safeguards for clean air and clean water and safe food in this country right now. Regulations are facing attack in Washington by politicians in Congress and by the new Trump administration.
Let's start with the basics: The United States Congress passes legislation, sends it to the White House for the president to sign. If the president signs it, it becomes law.
Laws only have meaning if they are enforced and carried out. That's where regulations come in. Federal agencies, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, issue and enforce regulations to carry out laws like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and safeguards for Americans' food and a safe environment.
Erik Olson, Director, NRDC Health program: You know when we go home, and we go into the kitchen, and we turn on the tap, we just assume that water is pure, and it's safe. When we go to the grocery store, and we buy some meat, or we buy some vegetables, we just assume that that's safe, and it's not going to make our families sick. Behind all that, is really regulation to make sure that we don't have contaminated tap water, that we don't have contaminated food.
Walke: Enforcing the law through effective regulations delivers enormous health benefits, as well as cost savings for Americans.
Every time the air is clean and harmful pollution is avoided, that means that Americans and their kids don't have to go to emergency rooms; it means they're not suffering bronchitis or asthma attacks.
President Trump has proposed the most extreme budget cut in EPA's history.
(Soundbite of President Trump: Should I give this pen to Andrew? Dow Chemical. Should I? I think maybe, right?)
Slashing the money it needs to enforce the law by over 30 percent and promising layoffs of employees across the agency.
Olson: We've got to have strong rules, and we've got to have vigorous enforcement, and without that, our health and, in some cases, our lives are at stake. We have disease outbreaks from water contamination still occurring to this day because of shortcomings in enforcement and because of lack of regulation in some cases.
Walke: When there's no money, when there's no law enforcement, when there are no regulations necessary to uphold the law, then you're not committed to clean air and public health, you're not committed to clean water and public safety.
I'm sorry, that's just not the way it works.
With their latest rollback, the president and the EPA chief show that they either don’t understand how water pollution works—or simply don’t care.
At polluters’ written request, the president is now trying to gut NEPA, the Magna Carta of environmental law.
Plus, get ready for the rise of hermaphroditic frogs, and the EPA’s Science Advisory Board can’t meet until after the agency corrupts science.
The administration relocates science jobs, refuses to fill others, and tosses a lifeline to polluters (while silencing citizens).
A community along the Houston Ship Channel ramps up its fight against heavy industry and lax oversight after another petrochemical factory blaze closes local schools and causes a spike in respiratory illness.
Trump also kills 20 years of child health research and continues to neglect chemical safety.
In the administration’s ongoing war on environmental laws, the tactics can be subtle but the strategy is straightforward: Give corporate polluters every chance to fight the rules they don’t like.
Plus, the president defies Congress on conservation and wants to force pipelines on states that don’t want them.
Plus, NOAA’s sick Twitter burn and the EPA’s corporate giveaways (which attorney general nominee William Barr seems cool with).
And every extra day it lasts, the deleterious effects on our national parks, food inspections, and toxic waste cleanups grow bigger (and more difficult to stop).
Trump denies protection to imperiled wildlife, censors more climate change web pages, and stalls on a ban of a deadly chemical.
These chemicals don’t make our homes safer from fire—they pose health risks to firefighters and consumers.
U.S. veteran Paul A. Schwarz, Jr. died from eating a piece of cantaloupe in a fruit cup—all because of a lack of food-safety protections.
Industrial polluters have gone to great lengths to stifle environmental advocacy, but their expansion of censorship laws has finally crossed a line for some federal judges.
Two brothers tell the story of how their mother died from eating peanut butter, all from a lack of food-safety inspections.
Partnering with NRDC and ACLU, residents of this Michigan city took their local government to court in a battle for safe drinking water.
As he took odd jobs to get by, Robin Tucker’s father developed 20 fatal tumors from being exposed to asbestos, a toxic mineral that is still legal in U.S. products—including children’s toys.
Manufacturers will soon have to disclose what’s in the bottle—including toxic chemicals long omitted from packaging labels.
The White House wants to nix grants that help local governments protect their citizens from pollution.
Vulnerable communities across America pay the highest price for environmental justice issues brought upon by polluters.
Trump likens our “inner cities” to war zones . . . then guts the programs geared to safeguard clean air and water for low-income communities of color.
Meet a handful of the NRDC staffers who resisted Trump’s attacks and defended our environment in 2017—and who won’t stop fighting anytime soon.
For drinking water, flood control, climate defense, habitat protection, fishing, swimming, and, of course, craft beer.
Proposed regulations would still allow wastewater to be disposed of in the watershed, with risks to both drinking water and the environment.
For starters: It would endanger the environment, imperil water systems and other public assets . . . and then make states pay extra for it all
NRDC’s chief counsel explains the best way to beat back the Trump administration’s attack on our health and environment: sue.
Residents of cities like Pittsburgh and Newark continue to face high levels of this toxic metal in their drinking water supplies. Here’s what to do if this crisis affects you.
A recent ruling on methane emissions serves as a smackdown to Pruitt’s EPA—and a way forward for environmentalists.
Tens of thousands of American families live in repeatedly flooded properties—and many feel like there’s no way out.
Scott Pruitt is out—but can the new EPA chief escape Pruitt’s shadow of endless scandals, incompetence, and corruption?
Local groups and government agencies are working together to remediate this Superfund site in the city’s midst, despite diminishing support from the EPA.