As the World Marks Earth Day 2018:

Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Barrels Ahead with Plunder of the Environment

April 23, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Earth Day this year took place at a time when the world is hurtling at an accelerating pace toward global environmental catastrophe. To cite just one sign of this: A recent report from scientists 1 warned that ocean “dead zones”—where there is zero oxygen—have quadrupled since 1950 because of human-caused global warming and pollution. Things are headed toward mass extinctions of many forms of ocean life, with unthinkably disastrous consequences not only for hundreds of millions of people who depend directly on the sea but for all of humanity.

And the country that has done more than any other to contribute to environmental disaster—the United States—is now headed by a fascist regime stuffed with anti-science know nothings, pathological liars and Christian fascist zealots who refuse to even accept the well-established scientific fact of climate change. One of the top ghouls in the Trump/Pence cabal is Scott Pruitt—the head of the Environmental “Protection” Agency (EPA). Right now, the mainstream media is all focused up on the sordid scandal swirling around Pruitt’s corrupt actions. But far more dangerous, to people here and around the world, is what Pruitt has been and is doing as a point man for the Trump/Pence war on the environment. 2

While Trump declares outright that climate change is a “hoax,” Pruitt claims that there is “tremendous disagreement” about how much impact the use of fossil fuels—which produces CO2 and other greenhouse gases—has on global climate change. This is nothing but a devious lie with the same aim as Trump’s blatant denial of science. There is near-unanimous agreement among scientists worldwide that not only is climate change happening as a result of human activity, but that it is clearly caused by the burning of oil and other practices that produce greenhouse gases.

All around us, there is overflowing evidence of the catastrophic direction the world is heading in because of climate change: record-setting global temperature year after year…increasingly powerful and destructive storms due to warming of seas and air…quickening melting of glaciers and ice at the poles…people driven from their homelands because of drought and forced to become climate refugees. In the face of this, the Trump/Pence regime is putting their foot down on the gas pedal of the accelerating environmental emergency.

Slashing Limits to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Under Pruitt, the EPA—which should really be known as the Environmental Plunder Agency—has been cutting back on or outright eliminating one environmental regulation after another relating to greenhouse gases and pollution hazards. One major effort in this regard is Pruitt’s announcement in early April this year that the EPA is beginning to reconsider the current fuel efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks. Pruitt said the previous administration “set the standards too high.” Cars and trucks account for one-sixth of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. National Geographic described Pruitt’s announcement as “the first step in a rollback of one of the U.S.’s biggest efforts to curb carbon emissions.”.

It is not the case that the pre-Trump regulations on car emissions—and other rules dealing with fossil fuels—were sufficient to deal with the problem humanity is facing. Under Obama, the U.S. had somewhat different environmental policies, including signing on to the Paris international climate treaty. But there was still the same system at work—the system of capitalist-imperialism. Under this system, nothing can be done unless, ultimately, there is profit. Different blocs of capitalists compete against each other, driven by the ruthless commandment of “expand or die.” Whatever the views of individual capitalists, they are compelled by the underlying driving forces of their system to rapaciously despoil the environment without regard for consequences for humanity and all species of life.3 While the Paris accords and various regulations under Obama did put some limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars, power plants, and other sources, they never came anywhere near what is actually required to address the gigantic problem of climate change in a serious way.

But what we face in the Trump/Pence regime is an extreme concentration of that system. The Trump/Pence regime is now sweeping aside even the limited federal regulations on greenhouse gases enacted previously—and going after states like California which have had their own emission standards and other environmental regulations. All this could compel other countries to lower their greenhouse gas emission rules, so that their industries would not fall behind in the competition with U.S. capitalists.

“They’re Going to Be Killing People”

Pruitt’s EPA is also targeting rules and regulations relating to limiting environmental pollution. Investigation of corporations for violation of clean air and clear water laws are way down. In the first 266 days under Pruitt, the EPA filed about a thousand fewer cases of enforcement actions and sought almost $9 billion less in fines and orders for repairs against environmental violators than in a similar period the previous year. 4

Earlier this year, the EPA issued a legal memo that would allow companies more leeway in meeting standards to limit toxic air pollution. While air pollution affects people broadly, the loosening of regulations would particularly hit neighborhoods of Black and other oppressed people, who are more likely than the general population to live near major industrial polluters. A former head of the environmental justice division at the EPA said about this change under Pruitt, “They’re really going to be killing people. You’re going to have all kinds of public health problems.” 5

Censoring the Truth

Along with the assaults on environmental regulations, Pruitt is also leading the charge against the truth about global warming and other environmental threats. Pruitt’s EPA has been systematically deleting mention of “climate change” as well as other terms like “fossil fuels,” “greenhouse gases,” and “global warming” from its website.6 Previously, the website had included information like data from years of research about emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases and their effects on climate.

This is not the only federal agency where such censorship on information about climate change has been carried out under Trump—but it has been most extensive at the EPA. Phillip Duffy, president of the prestigious Woods Hole Research Center told TIME magazine, “The idea that the science of climate change is in doubt—and that this justifies changing EPA websites—is simply false. I see no way to avoid concluding that [the current EPA administration] places the interests of the fossil industry above those of the people it is charged to protect.” The EPA has also been erasing mention of climate change from its strategic plans and preventing its scientists from speaking about climate change at conferences.

A Grave Threat to Humanity

What’s happening at the EPA under Pruitt is part of the Trump/Pence regime’s wholesale assault on the environment. Just a few days before Earth Day, for example, the Senate confirmed yet another climate change denier to a high-level post—Jim Bridenstine as head of NASA, an agency whose scientists had done important research on climate change.

Climate change and the global environmental emergency certainly did not begin with the rise of Trump and Pence. But in little over a year, they have already done great damage in many different ways, including making the threat of global climate disaster much, much worse. And they are determined to force their way ahead to full consolidation of fascist rule. They pose a grave and urgent threat to humanity and the environment—they must be driven out before they can cause even greater harm.

But as people unite broadly against the fascist regime, there needs to be debate and wrangling over what is actually needed to take on the global environmental emergency for real. Going back to the “way things were” under the same system is no answer. An actual revolution is needed to uproot and sweep away this predatory system and bring into being a radically new and much better system, including a completely different approach to the environment—a society aiming toward a world free of all exploitative and oppressive divisions among humanity. Bob Avakian brings alive a concrete plan for such a society in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

For more on a revolutionary approach, go here.


1. “Ocean suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn,”, January 4, 2018. [back]

2. For more background on Pruitt, see “Who Is Scott Pruitt, REALLY?“ at the website. [back]

3. To get more into these points, check out the special Revolution issue on the environmental emergency. [back]

4. “Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers,” New York Times, December 10, 2017. [back]

5. From “The EPA Wants to Regulate Factories Like Your Local Dry Cleaners,”, January 26, 2018. [back]

6. “Here’s What the EPA’s Website Looks Like After a Year of Climate Change Censorship,”, March 1, 2018. [back]


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