By Ellen Knickmeyer and Kevin Freking
President Donald Trump is promoting what he is calling his administration’s “environmental leadership” despite its sweeping rollbacks of landmark environmental and public health protections. Critics are calling it a credulity-straining gesture aimed at winning over voters worried about climate change and pollution.
Trump’s speech at the White House on Monday afternoon will focus on the administration’s “practical approach to addressing environmental challenges while also supporting a strong economy,” Mary Neumayr, who heads the president’s Council on Environmental Quality, told reporters in previewing his remarks.
Polls show increasing numbers of voters are identifying the environment and climate change as priorities, although the issues are a much bigger concern for Democrats rather than for Trump’s Republican base.
In December, an Associated Press-NORC poll found Democrats driving an increase in the share of Americans who name the environment and climate change as an important issue for the government to work on in 2019. About 4 in 10 Democrats (39 included the environment as a priority, compared with just 8% of Republicans. The share of Democrats naming the environment grew 11 percentage points, from 28% a year ago.