SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state and Oregon will fight attempts by President Donald Trump to weaken environmental protection laws, the Democratic governors of the two states say.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown at a joint news conference on Saturday in Seattle said they support more renewable energy, caps on emissions and policies to limit pollution.
“The reason we stopped TrumpCare is because we spoke up and we spoke out,” Inslee said. “We have to do the same thing on the environment. To have a president who will in the next few days or weeks announce that he plans to roll back our efforts to fight climate change is unacceptable.”
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, on Sunday said that Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
The budget proposed by Trump earlier this month cuts the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 31 percent — nearly one-third — and eliminates more than 3,200 jobs.
“I think it’s clear in Oregon and Washington, we’re not willing to go backwards,” Brown said.
Inslee said Washington could, depending on what Trump proposes, take legal action. The president has often called climate change a “hoax.”
“I can tell you that if we have the legal right to prevent this government and this president from rolling back protections from pollution, we will exercise them,” Inslee said.
Inslee said the president’s budget would put salmon and orca populations at risk and harm Puget Sound. Heating and home-weatherization programs for low-income people would be cut, he said.
The West Coast must work together, Brown said. “The impacts of climate change will touch every single one of us regardless of our borders,” she said.