Donald Trump Has Misled American Workers and We’re All Paying the Price

Donald Trump is once again making sweeping statements of success and false promises from sea to shining swing state. But the numbers—and the facts—tell a different story. Donald Trump claims he fights for working-class people and their families. He said he would protect jobs and revive dying industries. His actions have made us less safe and cost us jobs by sending innovation overseas.

He has made workers less safe. Throughout his administration, the number of OSHA inspectors has declined, which has made workplaces less safe. Where it was once difficult for regulators to effectively survey workplaces, it is now physically impossible for inspectors to even visit every site, much less conduct a thorough inspection. Technically, where staffing is now, OSHA only has enough inspectors to inspect workplaces once every 165 years.

The decline of OSHA inspections has very real consequences — particularly in the age of COVID-19. General safety issues are at risk, but while a deadly pandemic ravages the global population, safety regulations are more important than ever. However, OSHA has once again fallen short of standing up for the very people they are tasked to protect. For instance, in the meatpacking industry, one in eleven workers have contracted COVID-19, and the plants that don’t take proper safety precautions — like shutting down production when there is an outbreak — receive fines that are consistently less than what it costs to buy a used car.

Another case in point: the rollback of the Chemical Disaster Rule. This rule was created to protect workers and communities from chemical releases and explosions. After dismantling the rule completely for two years, when it was reinstated, the administration significantly weakened the rule.

This was a rule put in place for a reason. Around our country there have been fires, explosions, and chemical leaks that have killed workers and first responders. This rule was put in place because of what happened at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas (caution that video is disturbing even taken from a significant distance). Fifteen first responders gave their lives and buildings for a mile around the explosion were damaged, including a school that—thankfully and luckily—wasn’t full of kids. By rolling back the Chemical Disaster Rule, he has not only made workplaces less safe, but he has also put communities at risk.

“Donald Trump is the worst president for workers and the environment in our lifetime.”

Donald Trump has again and again touted how clean our environment is, but his actions have made our water less safe and our air more polluted. His disregard for the environment and existing protections is frightening. He chose to roll back methane standards for the oil and gas industry that were put in place to stop the unnecessary leaks and waste seen throughout the industry. Cost-effective technology can stop these leaks and methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that impacts our climate. Carcinogens — like benzene — leak with the methane and endanger workers on the job.

One of Trump’s biggest promises was that he would bring jobs to the U.S. — his actions have done the opposite. Donald Trump is proud to have rolled back regulations that would have spurred innovation and created jobs. For example, creating and installing the technologies to stop the methane leaks in oil and gas fields would have created an estimated 50,000 jobs in the next decade. When he rolled back the methane standards he rolled back those jobs as well.

With emissions standards already in place for years, the automotive industry had already begun to adapt and innovate cleaner cars, trucks, and SUVs. When he rolled back these regulations, he ensured that other countries will eclipse the U.S. in manufacturing these new technologies. The rollback will—by his own administration’s estimate—cost workers in our nation an estimated 50,000–60,000 future manufacturing jobs in the automotive industry.

Donald Trump is the worst president for workers and the environment in our lifetime. He has dismantled worker safety regulations, cut staff at the agency that is supposed to protect workers on the job, and stepped away from environmental policies that keep the nation’s air and water clean. His decisions cost the nation the jobs of the future and endangered our existing workforce — they must be reversed. If you want to learn more about how Donald Trump misled America, read our full, comprehensive report here.

Jason Walsh is the Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance.

As Trump Travels to Minnesota and Wisconsin to Tout Record, New Report Spotlights Trump Administration’s Attacks on Workers, the Environment, and Jobs

Ahead of President Trump’s rallies in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the BlueGreen Alliance today released Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment, an interactive report exploring the real world impacts of the Trump administration’s actions on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response.

“This report illustrates the many ways that Donald Trump is failing American workers, endangering the environment and our communities, and putting lives at risk,” BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh said. “Families and communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and all around our nation have suffered the consequences of the president’s decisions. This report focuses on the impacts of some of the most egregious actions by the administration on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response, as a comprehensive look at the negative impacts of this administration on the nation would fill the Library of Congress.”

The report found the Trump administration rolled back numerous policies designed to protect workers, communities, and the environment. Under the false premise that these actions would create jobs, President Trump dismantled worker safety regulations, starved the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of staff and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of power, and stepped away from environmental policies that keep the nation’s air and water clean. The report should provide workers and others with the information they need to understand the current impact of these policies and work toward changing them to protect workers and our communities.

The report further explores the impact of the Trump administration on communities of color. The group urged the Trump administration to reverse these actions.

“President Trump’s claims to be pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-environment are demonstrably false, as made clear by his actions over the course of the last three-and-a-half years,” Walsh said. “This president has put countless lives at risk in communities across the nation, he’s failed to protect workers during a massive global health crisis, he’s ceded tens of thousands of jobs to other countries, and he’s allowed for more pollution to be dumped into our air and water. It’s no wonder Trump is running around the country talking about America needing a ‘comeback,’ as every American is living with the consequences of his actions over the last three years.”

Click below to view the report.

Misled

Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment

 This report should provide workers and others with the information they need to understand the current impact of these policies and work toward changing them to protect workers and our communities.

There is no doubt the negative impacts of this presidency on working families will be studied in great detail in the years to come. For the purposes of this report, the impacts of some of the most egregious actions on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response will be reviewed. This report sheds light on the Trump administration’s actions that have negatively impacted working families, communities, and workplaces.

Click below to view the report.

Misled

EPA’s Methane Decision Endangers Jobs, Worker Health, and the Environment

The decision damages both the environment and the economy, as the BlueGreen Alliance’s report, Plugging the Leaks, showed full deployment of existing practices and technologies at new and modified oil and gas facilities could reduce methane emissions in the United States and create 50,000 jobs over the next ten years in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing.

Following that announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“At a time when America needs hope and jobs, the Trump administration again has made a decision that dashes our hope and costs us jobs. Methane leaks also expose workers to dangerous carcinogens and have an outsized contribution to making climate change worse.

“Donald Trump is throwing away 50,000 good-paying jobs manufacturing and installing the technology needed to stop leaks that are wasteful and unnecessary. Trump would rather let more methane leak into the air than create good jobs conserving it.”

BlueGreen Alliance Welcomes Passage of Water Resources Development Act Reauthorization

In response to the passage of the bill the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a harsh light on just how important it is that we ensure every American can rely on access to clean, safe water. We applaud passage of the House’s reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act and urge them to work with the Senate to pass a final bill that includes important measures such as the reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Loan fund, Safe Drinking Water Act programs, and a permanent Buy America provision to ensure the investments we make create good-paying jobs here in the United States.”

BlueGreen Alliance Applauds House Passage of H.R. 2, Moving Forward Act

The bill includes many provisions included in the BlueGreen Alliance’s COVID-19 Recovery Priorities, Infrastructure Priorities, and Manufacturing Agenda.

In response to today’s vote the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“In the middle of the greatest public health crisis of a generation America is falling apart. We have millions of workers filing for unemployment due to COVID-19, rampant and systematic racism that pervades our society, gaps in our manufacturing base that leave our citizens and economy vulnerable, and the infrastructure systems that we rely on every day have been neglected for a generation and are crumbling and dangerous. Students in low-income communities and predominately communities of color are learning in schools full of asbestos and lead pipes, bridges and transit systems are unable to withstand the impacts of climate change, and leaking natural gas pipes are a hazard to people and the environment.

“Today’s action by the House puts the nation on a path to economic recovery at a time when millions of Americans are out of work, while repairing our infrastructure and boosting our manufacturing sector. The investments included in the Moving Forward Act will create good, family-sustaining jobs across the nation, while improving public health and reducing the emissions driving climate change.

“We applaud the House for its leadership on this important issue and urge Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to move past their tradition of inaction and act now, not only to pass this critical piece of legislation, but to protect workers during the COVID-19 crisis and boost economic recovery.”

BlueGreen Alliance Report Highlights Challenges and Opportunities in Repairing America’s Water Systems

The nation’s wastewater and drinking water infrastructure received grades of “D+” and “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), respectively. A new report released today by the BlueGreen Alliance—entitled Water Works: The Job Creation Potential of Repairing America’s Water Infrastructure—shows how investments in the nation’s water systems to improve them to a “B” grade would create 654,000 job-years—a job that employs a person full-time for one year—across the U.S. economy.

“Repairing our clean and wastewater infrastructure will grow and sustain the good-paying jobs we need right now and in the long-term, and not just in system maintenance but also in the new construction sector and in manufacturing,” said James Slevin, president of the Utility Workers Union of America. “When infrastructure spending is coupled with policy that incentivizes domestic content—like Buy America standards—there is a long history of maximizing the return on investment to taxpayers and the American economy.”

The health impacts of aging infrastructure are pervasive. More than 27 million Americans get their water from systems that violate health standards, and low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by contaminated water.

“Every American deserves access to clean, safe water and right now we’re failing in that most basic measure,” said BlueGreen Alliance Legislative Director Jessica Eckdish “In towns and cities around the country, people—especially people of color—are being exposed to lead and other harmful chemicals in their water. Flint, Michigan brought this issue to national prominence, but since then there’s been a lack of action at the federal level to do what it takes to keep people safe. That needs to change and it needs to change now.”

The group said another issue is that climate change is further straining water systems already in disrepair. A study by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies estimated that states will need an additional $448 to $944 billion dollars by 2050 to reengineer water systems to cope with sea level rise, droughts, and floods.

“Our most vulnerable communities are suffering the most from our outdated water infrastructure, which leads to contamination and flooding,” said Becky Hammer, deputy director for federal water policy at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “The climate crisis exacerbates these risks. The good news is that repairing and upgrading our pipes and treatment plants will help provide safe, clean water for all of us—and create thousands of good jobs.”

Water pipes leak approximately 14% of all treated water and there are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks in America each year. The U.S. House of Representatives is currently debating a bill that would infuse over 65 billion dollars into drinking and wastewater systems.

BlueGreen Alliance Applauds House Democrats for New Effort to Spur Economic Recovery with Infrastructure and Manufacturing Focus

After the announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh.

“America is falling apart. We have millions of workers without jobs due to Covid-19, rampant and systematic racism that pervades our society, gaps in our manufacturing base that leave our citizens and economy vulnerable, and the infrastructure systems we rely on every day—for clean water, to get from place to place, to educate our children, to heat and power our homes and businesses, and to communicate with each other—have been neglected for a generation and are crumbling and dangerous.

“Today, Speaker Pelosi and leaders in the House have released a path forward that can put people back to work repairing and modernizing our infrastructure to be cleaner and more resilient, rebuild manufacturing and manufacturing jobs, and enhance justice and equity to our society by prioritizing investments in communities that need it most—including low-income communities, communities of color, and deindustrialized communities in need of economic revitalization.”

“We haven’t evaluated the full bill, but this proposal is a stark contrast to the inaction from Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Republicans in the Senate, like we have seen with other legislation to protect workers and provide needed relief previously passed by the House. They too must act because we cannot afford to wait a minute longer to get America on a path to recovery.”

BlueGreen Alliance Applauds Strong Buy America Provision in Senate WRDA Bill

In response to today’s markup the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“Every American deserves to have access to clean water. We applaud this action to address our nation’s water infrastructure challenges. We are particularly pleased with the inclusion of a permanent Buy America provision, which has a long-standing history of boosting American manufacturing, creating quality, family-sustaining jobs, and maximizing investments in the American economy.”

BlueGreen Alliance Applauds House Action on Infrastructure

In May 2019, the BlueGreen Alliance released its Infrastructure Priorities, laying out a plan to repair and modernize the nation’s infrastructure, support the creation of high-quality jobs, reduce the emissions driving climate change, and make communities more resilient.

In response to the release of the infrastructure platform the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“Our nation’s infrastructure has been neglected for far too long. Communities across the country are burdened by crumbling roads and bridges, pipes that leach lead and toxics into water supplies, schools that are woefully outdated and unsafe, and entire infrastructure systems that are just one storm away from failing. We applaud the release of this framework. Now it is time for Congress to move forward to repair and transform our infrastructure in ways that will drive the creation of good jobs here in the United States—through the inclusion of strong labor and procurement provisions—and address the climate crisis by reducing emissions.”

EPA’s Clean Water Rule Replacement is Indefensible

In response to today’s announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“This rule is indefensible. Every American deserves to have clean, safe water. The rule finalized today will mean more pollution in our waters, putting our drinking water and health and safety at risk and harming waterways communities rely on for recreation.”

BlueGreen Alliance Comments on Proposal to Rollback Methane Standards in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector for New, Reconstructed, or Modified Sources

Methane must be directly regulated. The original methane standards—Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources—finalized by the EPA in August 2016, would protect workers and local communities, address climate change, and create jobs by driving deployment of cost-effective, available technology and practices to reduce methane leaks. The 2016 standards included common-sense measures to reduce methane emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified sources in the oil and natural gas sector. Weakening the 2016 rule is the wrong move—it would stifle job creation and innovation, waste resources, and endanger workers.