The president has taken the nation to task over environmental protection in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
And as a presidential candidate, Trump has said he would not only undo the Clean Power Plan, which mandates greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, but he would also roll back environmental protections and gut the Environmental Protection Agency.
“I think the EPA is the most corrupt agency in the history of the United States, and we will end it, we will make it right, and the president has said, ‘No, I will not allow it to happen,'” Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt in October.
The EPA has not yet responded to The Hill’s request for comment.
But in a letter sent to Trump, the Environmental Defense Fund said it was “deeply disappointed” that the president would not honor his campaign promises to “get rid of the EPA” or “ensure that EPA does not become a shadow of its former self.”
“As the president’s EPA has become increasingly partisan and politicized, it has become clear that he is intent on dismantling its enforcement and enforcement activities,” the letter stated.
Trump has repeatedly touted the EPA as “the only agency with a clear and permanent record of environmental integrity and protecting public health, property and safety,” and he has claimed it is “under siege” by “global special interests.”
In May, Trump tweeted that he would “get EPA to stop doing a job.”
The president, who previously touted the agency as the “gold standard for clean air and clean water,” said during the first presidential debate that “the EPA is going to be replaced with a great environmental agency.”
“You’ll see,” he said.
“And the EPA, in the future, will be a great agency.”
Trump has also claimed the agency is “the worst in the world,” saying “they are not doing their job.”
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in response to Trump’s tweets, called the president “reckless” in an interview with ABC News.
“The EPA has done a terrific job for the country,” Pruitt said.
The president and Pruitt have also clashed on other issues, as well.
In March, Pruitt announced he was dropping a lawsuit against the agency after the Trump administration withdrew its funding from the Environmental Justice Program, a program to combat climate change denial.
Trump had pledged to withdraw the funding after Pruitt’s office released data showing that the program helped states fight off lawsuits against them.
Pruitt, however, said he was “saddened” that Pruitt was “putting the political process ahead of the science.”
And in September, Trump told Fox News that he did not believe the Trump Administration was a “safe space” for scientists, citing his feud with former President Barack Obama.
“He [Obama] put the science ahead of politics, but I think the President is doing a pretty good job in terms of science,” Trump said.
Pruitt told Fox that Trump “is the only person in the entire world who believes that climate change is man-made and is causing problems.”
“He believes the science.
He’s the only one in the whole world that believes that it’s happening,” Pruitt added.
Trump also took issue with the EPA’s decision to revoke the Environmental Integrity Act, which was passed in 1977 and requires federal agencies to investigate and report on the integrity of their operations.
“They took the law away from me and put it in the hands of a person who’s not fit to be a leader of this country,” Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in September.
“We’re going to start getting rid of EPA because it’s been hijacked by the global special interests.
That’s what I want to see.”