The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Washington State

Download the PDF here.

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, Washington experienced two major wildfires. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Impacts of climate change

Extreme weather

Temperature

  • Washington currently averages 5 days per year when heat exceeds dangerous levels, but projections indicate that number will increase to nearly 10 days per year by 2050. This endangers the lives of the more than 150,000 people in Washington who are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies

Climate

  • 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 Washington residents $493.5 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 Washington’s economy relies heavily on its agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.

Toxics

Air quality

  • Mercury emissions in Washington decreased by nearly 73 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.

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.