FOLLOW THE MONEY|
By Bob Weaver
U.S. President Donald Trump, responding to a question about climate change after skipping a G7 session in France on the issue, said that American wealth is based on energy and he will not jeopardize that for "dreams and windmills," referring to climate change.
Trump is pushing to open up Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, to logging, mining, and energy extraction.
President Trump has instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to exempt Alaska’s 16.7-million-acre Tongass National Forest from restrictions.
Earlier the Trump administration moved to weaken how it applies the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act, ordering changes that critics said will speed the loss of animals and plants at a time of record global extinctions.
The political action is directed toward opening the nations preserved and protected lands for development.
It expands the administration’s rewrite of U.S. environmental laws and is the latest that targets protections, including for water, air and public lands.
Previous Trump administration actions have proposed changes to other bedrock environmental laws — the clean water and clean air acts. The efforts include repealing an Obama-era act meant to fight climate change by getting dirtier-burning coal-fired power plants out of the country’s electrical grid, rolling back tough Obama administration mileage standards for cars and light trucks and lifting federal protections for millions of miles of waterways and wetlands.
Further, the Trump administration has been moving to open up other national preserves, parks and lands for development.