JAMA Forum | May 10, 2018
By David Cutler, PhD, and Francesca Dominici, PhD
President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt have pledged to reexamine landmark environmental policies and to repeal regulations. In their view, excessive regulations are harming US industry, and thus reducing regulation will be good for business. As Donald Trump has said, seemingly without irony, “We are going to get rid of the regulations that are just destroying us. You can’t breathe—you cannot breathe.”
As has become apparent, however, it is the changes Trump is proposing that are likely to make breathing more difficult. A central feature of his agenda is environmental damage: making the air dirtier and exposing people to more toxic chemicals. The beneficiaries, in contrast, will be a relatively few well-connected companies.