During a speech on the environment in the White House Monday, President Donald Trump failed to mention climate change even once, while the secretaries of top environmental agencies such as the EPA and the Interior Department made false and apathetic claims about the state of the environment.

During his 45-minute speech in the White House’s East Room, the president spewed misinformation about the environment, continuing his trend of attacking legitimate climate science and strengthening fossil fuel industries. Nobody complained, however, as Trump was preaching to the choir. His speech was attended by lawmakers from energy-rich states, representatives of anti-climate change think tanks, and ardent climate deniers.


At Trump’s side were EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, both of whom have been using their positions to decimate Obama-era environmental regulations. Bernhardt, whose department has been purposely removing mentions of the effects of climate change from its official reports, recently told reporters that he doesn’t lose any sleep over rising temperatures.

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Wheeler, whose agency has been rolling back restrictions on emissions from cars and power plants, shared false information about the United States’ air quality in a phone call with reporters before the press conference. Later in his White House remarks the EPA leader said, “Today, we have the cleanest air on record. We’re making tremendous environmental progress under President Trump, and the public needs to know that.” New EPA data set to be released this month shows that while air quality had been improving between 1980 and 2017, it had actually worsened under Trump’s administration last year.

Wheeler also claimed that the United States was still on track to hit the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump backed out of early in his term. He touted EPA data that showed carbon dioxide emissions falling by 2.7% between 2016 and 2017, asserting that the U.S. was still making progress. Data from the Energy Information Administration published this January shows that under Trump not only have emissions stopped decreasing in 2018 but that they actually rose 2.8% under the president’s draconian deregulatory efforts.

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