President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will protect the environment while he’s in office.
“I will protect our environment while at the same time we’re going to work with the rest of the world,” he told a rally in Iowa.
Trump, who has been criticized for his position on climate change and for a recent tweet that suggested his administration would use the threat of climate change to advance his campaign promises, also said that he would not sign any legislation that would “take away from the power of the states.”
Trump’s climate policy has been a major issue for the Republican party in recent years, as Republicans have come under fire for backing away from an ambitious effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions that has been in place for decades.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently conducting a review of the president’s proposed budget, which he said would eliminate the agency’s $1.5 trillion climate change budget and eliminate a slew of environmental regulations.
Trump has been pushing to reduce the EPA’s budget, saying that the agency is hurting Americans and the environment.
His budget proposal would also eliminate a number of federal regulations that the EPA has put in place to prevent climate change, including a regulation on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and an effort to ban methane emissions from oil and gas production.
The president has also proposed cutting the number of U.S. employees at the agency, which has about 2,000 employees, to about 1,500.
Trump’s proposed EPA budget would also end the EPA mandate to limit greenhouse gas pollution to below 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2), which would have led to a dramatic reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, a position that many scientists say is impossible to achieve.
The EPA would also lose the mandate that it currently provides to states to develop emission reduction targets and to conduct research into ways to cut emissions.