The Washington Post reports today on what it calls “industry’s to-do list,” as gleaned from comments that manufacturing company lobbyists have submitted to the Trump administration since Inauguration Day. Out of the 168 suggestions the administration has received, nearly half recommend easing Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Industry players aren’t just targeting climate change regulations, but also ambient air quality standards, which regulate pollutants like sulfur dioxide, lead, and particulate matter.
U.S. manufacturing pollutes substantially less today than in the decades past. A 2015 Yale University study found that between 1990 and 2008, emissions of common air pollutants decreased by 60 percent—even as manufacturing output increased. But “75 percent or more” of that was because of environmental regulation, the study found.
The industry’s to-do list is consistent with the Trump administration’s priorities. When Trump proposed a draft budget for the federal government last month, the EPA was the biggest target for reductions. “We are going to end the EPA intrusion into your lives,” Trump promised on the campaign trail. He appears to be following through: The White House is “inclined to accept” many of industry lobbyists’ suggestions, three senior administration officials told the Post.