WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement on President Trump’s executive order that will fast track projects to ignore environmental laws, including under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act.
“Let’s be clear, this executive order is not about providing immediate relief to the American people and boosting our economy. If President Trump was interested in anything other than expanding his power, there are a number of things he and his Administration could do to help our country combat this deadly epidemic and spur economic growth.
“Once again, President Trump is using the pretense of a deadly pandemic and its ensuing economic calamity to accelerate his Administration’s agenda, which includes the erasure of long-standing protections for the environment and public health. By allowing projects to plow ahead without public engagement or input, this executive order will fast-track projects that could tear through communities, harm air quality, endanger drinking water sources, destroy critical habitats and threaten endangered species. Under the guise of immediate relief, this executive action will cause long-term damage that will not be easily undone.
“For countless American communities, particularly for communities of color, economically-disadvantaged communities, and indigenous communities, the National Environmental Policy Act has been a bulwark against projects that could harm the environment, human health and quality of life. At a time when millions of people are marching in the streets, crying out to be heard by leaders at all levels of government, this executive order undermines the principles of democracy and the fundamental protections that NEPA avails to the American people. This executive order, like countless other actions from this Administration, aims to silence the voices of the American people yet again.
“During a time as painful and divisive as the one we’re living through, this executive order will only cause more harm and more division in America’s communities. It’s the last thing the American people need.”