The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Nevada
Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses to act to mitigate the effects of climate change—instead loosening requirements for polluters emitting the greenhouse gases that fuel the climate crisis. This dangerous agenda is affecting the lives of Americans across all 50 states.
Between 2017 and 2019, Nevada experienced one severe wildfire and two intense droughts. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.
Impacts of climate change
- Prolonged drought is especially concerning in Nevada considering that Lake Mead, the largest freshwater reservoir in the United States, has not been at capacity since 1983—the year that the most severe drought hit the area in more than 1,200 years.
- Currently, Nevada faces 15 heat wave days per year, but that number is expected to rise to 55 days per year by 2050.
- The increased threat of large wildfires has placed 46 percent of Nevada’s population at an elevated risk of wildfires.
- Nevada currently experiences 20 days of dangerous heat per year, but projections indicate that number will increase to 30 such days per year by 2050. This endangers the lives of the more than 70,000 people in Nevada who are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.
Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies
- In March 2020, the Trump administration announced its final rule to overturn Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars. These weakened fuel standards will lead to higher greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions and will cost Nevada’s residents nearly $166 million
- The Trump administration is attempting to gut climate considerations from major infrastructure projects by eliminating the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is concerning because Nevada’s economy relies heavily on its tourism, agriculture, and outdoor recreation industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
- Tourism: Nevada’s tourism sector accounts for 26 percent of the state’s total employment and generated an economic impact of $5 billion in 2018.
- Agriculture: The agriculture industry in Nevada creates more than 16,000 jobs in the state and generated $1.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2017.
- Outdoor recreation: The outdoor recreation industry in Nevada generates 87,000 direct jobs and more than $12.6 billion in consumer spending.
- Mercury emissions in Nevada decreased by more than 96 percent from 2011 to 2017, yet the Trump administration just undermined limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants.
- In 2019, the Trump administration released a series of proposed changes loosening regulations of coal-powered plants and the disposal of coal ash, which can threaten drinking water quality. These deregulations are dangerous for Nevada, where 772,000 tons of coal ash are generated annually.
To read the personal stories of Americans affected by climate change and the impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies in your state, visit OurEnvironment.org.