An increasingly fragile environment faces threats on multiple fronts from President Donald Trump and his new administration

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Photo by Tanvi Malik at Unsplash.com (licensed under Creative Commons Zero)

By Stephen Young Magruder

Four days after his presidential inauguration, President Trump signed executive orders Tuesday in support of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines—projects that had been rejected and delayed, respectively, when Barack Obama was president.

Trump’s latest executive orders seek to renegotiate terms for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada’s oil sands to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

We’ll see if we can get that pipeline built . . . [it will provide] a lot of jobs—28,000 jobs, great construction jobs,” he added.

Renewed government interest in the development of fossil fuels is consistent with Trump’s “America First Energy Plan”—a seven-paragraph document posted on the White House website as soon as he took office, which announced, among other things, his desire to eliminate Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

“For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry.  President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule,” the plan states.

Unlike Obama’s White House climate change issues section, Trump’s energy plan does not mention the causes or effects of climate change, or any efforts to support renewable, sustainable energy sources, such as the sun, wind or hydroelectricity.

Instead, it prioritizes creating jobs based on environmental exploitation, promoting the administration’s commitment to taking advantage of an estimated $50 trillion in various domestic oil and gas reserves and “reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.”

Trump is already under fire from environmental advocacy groups like Sierra Club for nominating Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pruitt, who fought regulations set out by the EPA on multiple occasions during the Obama administration, was featured in a 2014 New York Times article documenting an alleged alliance among Pruitt, other attorneys general and energy industry officials to combat EPA regulations.

The Humane Party, America’s first political party committed to rights for all animals—not just the human kind—instead wants to develop an “ecosystem-neutral, sustainably prosperous” economy.  Simply put, creating jobs and powering society does not need to come at the expense of the planet and all of its inhabitants.

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