Chair Grijalva: President Trump's Environmental Rollbacks are Another Attack on Black Communities

Washington D.C. – U.S. House Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on President Trump’s new executive order that waives bedrock environmental laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act.


“President Trump seeks to make awful situations worse. Instead of creating unity and providing the leadership our nation needs, he has created chaos and fueled hatred following the murder of George Floyd and throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chair Grijalva. “Black, brown, and under-resourced communities have suffered the devastating impacts of environmental racism for generations; the fact that Black Americans are dying at a much higher rate from coronavirus exposes the deadly consequences of this truth. Today President Trump is dealing another blow to the Black community, during a worldwide pandemic and nearly a week into nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and structural racism. Gutting NEPA takes away one of the few tools communities of color have to protect themselves and make their voices heard on federal decisions impacting them. NEPA is a public health law as well as an environmental law, and as we’ve seen time and time again, this administration considers public health and environmental laws nothing more than roadblocks to their anti-environmental agenda. This is another attack on Black communities and communities of color by President Trump.”


The executive order declares an “economic emergency” and instructs federal agencies to abandon longstanding environmental standards when considering the impacts of major projects and assessing when and how to protect vulnerable wildlife species.


Chair Grijalva has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s attempts to dismantle NEPA and the Endangered Species Act.


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