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, New Jersey experienced four severe storms and two winter storms. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.
Impacts of climate change
- New Jersey’s sea level has risen 12 inches since 1950 and is now rising by more than 1 inch every five years. New Jersey is preparing to spend more than $2 billion on solutions for sea level rise
- In 2018, New Jersey experienced the most precipitation on record in the history of the state. More than 300,000 people living in New Jersey are at elevated risk of inland flooding.
- In 2019, there were 70 suspected and 39 confirmed harmful algae blooms in New Jersey, higher than in the two previous years. Toxic algae blooms are fueled by climate change, and New Jersey is committing $13 million to reduce and prevent algae blooms in the state.
- All 10 of New Jersey’s hottest years on record have occurred since 1990, according to one analysis.
- More than 180,000 people in New Jersey 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 New Jersey residents $591 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 New Jersey’s economy relies heavily on its agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
- Agriculture: A 2015 report found that agriculture, forest products, and commercial fishing generated $12.8 billion in economic impact and supported 58,006 jobs.
- Tourism: In 2017, the tourism industry in New Jersey generated an economic impact of more than $45 billion and supported nearly 523,300 jobs, accounting for almost 10 percent of all jobs in the state.
- Outdoor recreation: The outdoor recreation industry in New Jersey generates 143,000 direct jobs and nearly $19 billion in consumer spending.
- Mercury emissions in New Jersey decreased by nearly 29 percent from 2011 to 2017, yet the Trump administration just undermined limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions that are allowed from power plants.
- In 2020, President Donald Trump proposed cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by more than one-quarter and the Superfund program by more than $100 million. New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the country, has 150 Superfund sites—the most of any state. Exposure to contamination from toxic sites can lead to adverse health effects including cancer and birth defects.
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.