Environmentalists appear more excited than President Trump himself in marking his 100th day in office.
In the lead-up to April 30, Trump's official 100th day, environmental groups have leveled at least one lawsuit, or related legal action, for nearly every executive order that has been signed since Trump was inaugurated Jan. 20.
Some of the highlights include:
- A lawsuit in federal court over Trump's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Natural Resources Defense Council led the litigation, which argues that the Trump administration rushed the environmental review for the project. It also is seeking to bog down the approval process at the Nebraska public service commission, which must approve the project.
- Rallying states and local governments in briefing the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the legal flaws inherent with Trump's push to hold up a court decision on Obama-era climate regulations. Trump issued a March 28 order that seeks to roll back a number of former President Barack Obama's climate change regulations. But it needs the court to place a hold on a lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of Obama's climate agenda, while the Environmental Protection Agency reviews the regulation.
- Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity, joined by Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, sued Trump over his executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to begin planning a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was the first lawsuit leveled against Trump's proposal to build the wall.
Scott Pruitt, Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency, dismissed the lawsuit as "frivolous," the type of thing to be expected as the administration seeks a major restructuring of the government.
At the same time, the New York Times reported last week that Pruitt is seeking a 24-hour security detail of 10 men to guard him around the clock. One of the reasons for the increased security could be the number of activist groups planning to rally against him and Trump's vision for the EPA, including nationwide protests planned for next week.
Trump plans to stay clear of major public events the weekend of April 28, declining to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which the president traditionally attends.
That weekend, activists plan to amass in the streets of Washington and surround the White House to protest Trump's executive orders rolling back Obama's climate rules, his hostility to the Paris climate change agreement, and the several executive orders seeking to increase fossil fuel development over clean energy resources.
Ahead of the April 29 climate march, legions of scientists will be in Washington on April 22, Earth Day, to protest Trump's hostility to the science of global warming, as well as scientific research in general. The March for Science will focus on Trump's 31 percent cuts to EPA's budget and other targeted reductions to clean energy programs at the Energy Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Institutes of Health.
"President Trump's huge budget cuts aimed at science research programs at the DOE, NIH, NOAA, and EPA would devastate innovation on critical issues ... like health and energy research," said a statement from 314 Action, a non-profit group helping to organize the protest.
"These programs have the potential to affect all Americans, but the most vulnerable will be impacted the most — and that's un-American," the group said. "These budget cuts have the science community up in arms. The March for Science is not just about climate change, it's about making sure that science and the scientific process has a seat in the highest levels of government."
Climate activists also are seeking to help organize protests at lawmakers' town hall meetings during the April recess.
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer launched the Town Hall Project last week as a new partnership organized by his group, NextGen Climate, "to empower Americans across the country to make their voices heard."
Steyer's group has put together a list of town hall meetings through an "engagement map" and other online resources to assist would-be activists to rally at town halls. Other tools include news analysis, issue guides, organizer trainings and advocacy campaigns to assist the effort.
"We want to make sure that every American has the ability to stand up and defend our values," Steyer said. "In the face of the Trump administration's attacks on our fundamental rights, Americans have been making their voices heard across the country."