Trump speech to tout environment record; green groups scoff

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Trump delivered remarks Monday afternoon in the East Room of the White House alongside Cabinet members such as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Trump said America was a leader in providing clean drinking water, had slashed air pollution and was cutting carbon emissions, all while bolstering industry and reducing regulation. He highlighted acts of environmental stewardship his administration has taken to improve the environment.

During his speech, Trump held up his decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, the cleanup of some polluted sites around the country and the opening of some public lands for hunters as examples of positive moves made by his administration.

Wheeler, during the event, spoke about the administration's improvements in environmental monitors like air pollutants, as well as touting the administration's efforts on water infrastructure and environmental provisions for marine litter in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Trump said he was focused on "practical solutions" while many Democrats in Congress were supporting the plan to curb climate change called the Green New Deal.

Trump plans a White House address that's meant to provide a rare presidential focus on environmental issues.

Gore, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his activism on climate change, said that "American voters aren't fooled by the President's attempts to cover up his failed environmental record".

"I don't envy the fact checkers covering President Trump's speech", said EWG President Ken Cook.

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Trump campaigned on rolling back some of the stringent environmental proposals put forth under President Barack Obama, saying they went too far to single out industries like coal, but the administration claims the USA still has some of the strongest environmental protections.

Hence, a common refrain of Trump's "Twilight Zone"-esque address was that the real story, about how much Trump loves the planet, is not being told".

Trump's speech today did not symbolize a change of heart on climate change (he actually never even mentioned climate change), but rather a political move to lay the foundation for a talking point for his re-election, which he will use to try and win a new voter base.

In his "America's Environmental Leadership" speech, Trump noted that US companies were forced to abide by lower standards in foreign countries that drove up the price of electricity and gas for American consumers.

Environmental advocates criticized the White House event ahead of Trump's speech.

Environmental scientists and policy experts, though, warn that climate change is the most dire threat facing human society in the 21st century. The Sierra Club labeled it "greenhouse gaslighting" and described his environmental record as the "worst record on the environment and climate action of any president in the history of the country".

"We can have arguments about it isn't happening for this reason or that", he said. However, the EPI states the U.S. ranks 10th for air quality and 29th for water and sanitation quality. "And I always say I want crystal clean water and air", Trump said last month in Ireland, adding, "We're setting records, environmentally".

"That's better than any speechwriter I could get", the president replied.

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