Environmentalists are hoping to put a spotlight on the environmental issues that have plagued President Donald Trump since he was elected in November.
While he has touted the economic benefits of the clean energy revolution, he has repeatedly called for a return to coal and oil.
“I believe climate change is real,” Trump said during a May 11 press conference.
“You can’t go anywhere in the world without seeing it.”
Trump has made no secret of his belief in the dangers of climate change and his administration has been at the forefront of efforts to combat the problem.
He signed a new order to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in early December, pledging to cut CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent by 2025 and enact stricter rules for coal plants.
“We’re going to do a lot of things to reduce emissions,” Trump promised during his January press conference announcing the new climate plan.
Trump has also announced a plan to ban all coal mining and energy production in the United States.
“There’s nothing wrong with being a little bit nervous, I guess, because you’re going through a time when you have the worst economic conditions in a generation,” said Robert Pogue, the executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“But I don’t think the president’s making a mistake, I think he’s being very smart, and that’s what I think that we’re seeing.
And I think you’re seeing that across the country.”
Pogue is the executive vice president of the environmental group Sierra Club, which supports climate change action.
But the Sierra Club has not endorsed Trump, and his Environmental Protection Agency is under fire for its climate change plan.
The Trump administration has not issued an environmental impact statement, or EIS, on its plan to phase out coal by 2025.
And environmentalists are concerned that Trump’s climate plans are a distraction from his agenda, which has been criticized for being insufficiently aggressive in fighting climate change.
“This is really about the president trying to avoid making a decision on a policy,” Pogue said.
“He’s got to say, ‘I’m going to take this to the Supreme Court, I’m going go to the courts.
I’m just going to go to Congress, we’ll work on it.'”
Environmentalists say Trump’s policies are not working and are urging him to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
The Environmental Protection Authority issued an EIS last week that said it will phase out fossil fuels by 2040.
Trump, however, has not said whether he will withdraw from a deal he signed in December to combat climate change that requires nations to reduce carbon emissions.
“If you are going to walk away from the agreement, I would ask you to be willing to say what the future is,” said Steve Jurvetson, the president of environmental advocacy group Beyond Coal.
“What you need to say is what is the cost of this, what are the costs of leaving?”
He said Trump should also pledge to take a more aggressive approach to coal mining, including shutting down or drastically reducing the number of mines and the energy industries that operate them.
“It would be better if he could say what he’s going to be doing on this,” Jurvetonsaid.
“Otherwise, I’d be happy to work with him.”
Environmentalists want Trump to commit to phase-out all fossil fuels, including coal, by 2030.
“The climate is changing, the climate is going to change, and we have to stop it,” said Pogue.
“Trump can’t just say, I will go ahead and leave, we’re going in a different direction.”
A Trump administration that has not been able to halt climate change has been unable to get the support of many of the people it has been charged with representing, said Pidge.
“That’s the real problem,” Pidge said.