In a shocking first for a conservative administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under Trump quietly predicted last month that global temperatures would rise seven degrees by the end of the century.The prediction came in the middle of a 500-page environmental impact report the NHTSA drafted to assess Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020.
But in a move that should be shocking to absolutely no one, the administration used this prediction to justify loosening fuel efficiency standards. The logic seems to be that our fate has already been sealed, so why not make car companies some profits while we drown in the rising ocean levels?
The document states that the only way to substantially impact this trend is by sweeping cuts in carbon emissions, which “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible,” the report states.
If enacted, “the administration’s proposals would give new life to aging coal plants; allow oil and gas operations to release more methane into the atmosphere; and prevent new curbs on greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air-conditioning units, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This would be the latest entry in the administration’s history of anti-conservationist policy, which include pushing through the Keystone Pipeline and rolling back protections for the National Park Service.
This hypocrisy is nothing new for the Trump administration, but the ease with which they admit the world is changing at a drastic rate while still advocating for rollbacks is disturbing. After a year of devastating wildfires and disastrous hurricanes, the Trump administration’s loyalty remains with corporate profit.