Many conservationists are fearing the worst. Trump could be the most anti-environmental president ever to take office, and he will have the support of a Republican Congress. The 2016 Republican platform, after all, called for the rollback of environmental regulations; expansion of fossil fuels; a prohibition against regulating carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas; transfer of federal lands to the states; limitations on the president’s ability to create national monuments; removal of species from the endangered species list; and withdrawal from multinational climate change agreements.
Trump is an avowed skeptic of climate change, famously tweeting in 2012 that climate change was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Most of his cabinet nominees are climate deniers. They include Rex Tillerson, the Exxon CEO nominated for Secretary of State, and Wilbur Ross, who owned the coal company that operated the Sago Mine in 2006 when 12 miners were killed as the result of an explosion and collapse, and who now has been nominated as Secretary of Commerce. Only one nominee acknowledges climate change: Secretary of Defense nominee Gen. James Mattis, who has long been a vocal advocate for the armed forces to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy.