Vast amounts of wetlands and thousands of miles of U.S. waterways would no longer be federally protected by the Clean Water Act under a new proposal by the Trump administration.
The proposal, announced and signed Tuesday at the Environmental Protection Agency, would change the EPA’s definition of “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, limiting the types of waterways that fall under federal protection to major waterways, their tributaries, adjacent wetlands and a few other categories.
The change aims to “provide states and landowners the certainty they need to manage their natural resources and grow local economies,”said EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler.
President Trump threatened Tuesday to have the military “build the remaining sections” of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, appearing to revive a call to use Pentagon money to finish the project as he braces for a tense meeting with congressional Democratic leaders opposed to the president’s funding request.
The Trump administration plans to eliminate an Obama-era requirement that new coal-fired power plants have expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
This latest administration effort to boost fossil fuel industries comes as leaders from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to discuss how to keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. And amid reports that CO2 emissions are rising again, as well as the administration’s own report that climate change is causing more severe weather more frequently and could eventually hurt the U.S. economy.
Russia will develop missiles banned under a Cold War agreement if the US exits the pact, President Vladimir Putin has warned.
His comments follow Nato’s accusation on Tuesday that Russia has already broken the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
Signed in 1987 by the US and USSR, it banned both countries’ use of all short and medium-range missiles.
But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the US to leave the pact.
In televised comments, the Russian leader said many other countries had developed weapons banned under the INF treaty.