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PNS Daily Newscast - August 16, 2017 


On our rundown today: Trump says there were “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday; a Minnesota church leader urges people to stand up against hate groups; and civil rights groups are outraged over the potential pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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First 100 Days: Trump Gets Failing Grade on Environment

Many Michiganders took to the streets to protest the Trump administration's environmental policies. (MI Climate Action Network)
Many Michiganders took to the streets to protest the Trump administration's environmental policies. (MI Climate Action Network)
May 1, 2017

LANSING, Mich. -- President Trump has now passed 100 days in office, which he has describes as a time of "profound change." But environmental groups argue the change has been profoundly negative, especially when it comes to policies that protect public health.

President of the Natural Resources Defense Council Rhea Suh said since taking office, Trump has targeted clean water protections, fuel economy standards and safeguards against dangerous climate pollutants.

"The first 100 days are fairly dizzying in terms of the level, the breadth and the depth of the environmental attacks that they've unleashed,” Suh said. "Things like the purity of the water we drink, the cleanliness of the air we breathe and sanctity of the places that we recreate."

Trump also has threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords, and moved to cancel the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, calling it a threat to jobs. The plan would have forced coal-fired power plants to reduce their carbon emissions.

Climate marches were held Saturday in Ann Arbor, Bay City, Detroit, Ferndale, Holland, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Traverse City in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of protesters participating in marches nationwide to mark Trump's 100th day.

The Trump administration also proposed significant cuts to the EPA and nominated climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to head it. Suh said this is despite polling that shows a majority of Americans would like the agency's powers preserved or strengthened.

"With 30 percent cuts to that agency, that's literally like taking cops off the beat,” she said. "That will prevent EPA from doing its job. It will prevent EPA from protecting us and it will certainly allow polluters to have a greater license in their activities."

Trump has touted his environmental policies as necessary to spur economic growth. According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted 73 days into the president's term, 61 percent of voters disapprove of Trump's handling of the environment - more than twice as many as those who approve.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI