2020-12-24 The Year’s Top 10 Environmental News Stories

This sums up the stories of 2020. The most harmful in my opinion has been Trump’s.

The following point is troubling to me: ” limiting the ability of 401(k) plans to invest in funds focused on environmental and social criteria”

To me this looks as if the federal government is trying to restrict the freedom of individuals to choose how they invest their money. It’s true that the 401(k) is a federal tax benefit, but that should not be the right of the government to determine how individuals invest. The Supreme Court determined that restricting how money spent on elections is a restriction of speech, so I think the same should be said about 401(k) investments.




Trump’s assaults on the environment

The Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement was only one of many environmental policy rollbacks in the United States in 2020. Some of the other moves included:

  • repealing the “Waters of the United States” regulation, which aimed to protect waterways and wetlands;
  • weakening energy efficiency rules for appliances;
  • relaxing rules on the release of mercury into the air;
  • denying the link between chlorpyrifos, an agricultural pesticide, and health problems;
  • stripping protection from the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a nearly 13,000-square-kilometer (5,000-square-mile) area off New England coveted by industrial trawlers;
  • weakening the National Environmental Policy Act, including exempting federal agencies from having to consider environmental impacts of projects;
  • limiting the ability of 401(k) plans to invest in funds focused on environmental and social criteria;
  • weakening the Endangered Species Act;
  • hiring a noted climate change denier to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
  • ending protections for Tongass National Forest, effectively opening up more than half of the country’s largest national forest to logging. >>

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