RPT - Biden Faces Uphill Battle To Reverse Trump's Environmental Damage - Activists

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th November, 2020) ASHINGTON, November 17 (Sputnik), Barrington M. Salmon - Projected President-elect Joe Biden will be challenged to undo the damage wrought by the Trump administration's roll back of crucial environmental protections, climate change activists told Sputnik.

Over the past four years, President Donald Trump carried out his initial promise coming into office to "dismantle the administrative state" by easing or removing a host of environment regulations that protected drinking water, clean air and prevented the release of toxic chemicals. According to a Harvard University tracker, the administration introduced rules to eliminate at least 80 environmental regulations, most of which have been implemented, are in process, or are being fought in court.

Eco-Equity advocacy group Co-Founder Vien Truong, winner of the White House Champion of Change award, is hopeful steps can be taken to deal with Trump's assault on clean air, water, and wildlife.

"The Trump Administration caused significant setbacks on climate. His Administration reversed over 100 environmental rules," Truong said. "There's no way to track the damage Trump has done because it's still ongoing. The prospect of getting back on track to protect families' right to clean air and clean water, to prioritize people and planet, is a major relief."

Truong, whose firm, Truong and Associates, advises lawmakers on environmental policies, believes Biden can point the way forward.

"Biden has committed to the strongest environmental policies and climate protections than any other incoming president," Truong said. "He supports clean energy solutions and has committed 40% of investment benefits for underserved communities. These investments will create good jobs and improve the quality of life for families across the nation. It's exciting."

Tiffany Aziz, a DC Clean Energy environmentalist and social justice activist, however, does not share Truong's optimism.

"Where I live, the environment is related to technology. I have been fighting power sub-stations constructed in low-income communities," Aziz said. "It's causing a lot of health concerns because it's not environmental-friendly. This has, in the past, caused cancer and childhood leukemia. There have also been cases of brain and breast cancer and high rates of fetal deaths. People are also getting headaches because of high radiation. And there are cases of dogs whose fur has been eaten off by electromagnetic fields."

Aziz - founder and president of the NOMA H Street Civic Association who works for the DC Medicaid Office - said she is also worried about 5G towers in her neighborhood.

"They are also removing agricultural land and free space," she said. "Mayor [Muriel] Bowser and the DC Council ignore these issues because they are utilizing it as a way to make money, bring more revenue for the city. They are making deals with PEPCO and other companies. Meanwhile, high electromagnetic fields are ruining the environment for animal and humans."

She is concerned that Biden may be too focused on national crises to address critical local issues.

"I want to think it will make a difference to the Biden administration but it will be more of a low-end issue. They will look at wildfires and the global pandemic. I don't think an electronic substation will be on their radar," Aziz said.

Every major news outlet has projected Biden as the winner of the presidential election held earlier in November. Trump, who has yet to concede, has filed several legal challenges, citing alleged voter fraud. However, a coalition of US Federal and state agencies in a joint statement last week disputed Trump's claims and said the 2020 election was the most secure in the country's history.