The US department of energy and environmental protection has quietly posted a devastating sentence to its website. This “bureaucratic” public outreach aimed at better understanding “the unravelling of our economy and environment”. In the meantime, “We still need energy”.
It makes no mention of Trump, his unpredictable and often shocking policy decisions and the racial discrimination inherent in actions such as temporarily denying benefits to Dreamers – young immigrants who arrived in the US as children. It doesn’t even mention those who worked to protect the environment over the years, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama.
With Trump acting on man-made climate change, critics go to the water
It’s just one sentence. A single sentence. Yet if our current president leaves the building without abandoning his presidency, it will be remembered for what it says about his. Taken at face value, the sentence encapsulates the absurdity and corruption of everything that is happening under him. But what the document actually contains is just one sentence. It describes the damaging effect that energy policies are having on the American public, and how they could be put right with a better set of policies, at least from an environmental point of view. It is a sentiment that the president and his supporters will struggle to understand.
If this was on the BBC it would be the lead story. It would be front page news in the Sun and the Mail and the Sun on Sunday. Anything to annoy Trump, right? Wrong. It is on a website commonly viewed by oil industry officials and lobbyists and a skeleton crew of government staffers. It seems to encapsulate exactly what it is that is in danger of being lost and neglected under this Trump presidency.