President Donald Trump used a speech aimed at touting his environmental record to declare war on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'unthinkable' Green New Deal

Donald Trump SpeechRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Las Vegas on October 8, 2015.AP Photo/John Locher

  • President Donald Trump used a speech aimed at touting his record on the environment to declare war on the Green New Deal, a key strand of the progressive agenda heading into the 2020 presidential election.
  • "[It will] kill millions of jobs, it will crush the dreams of the poorest Americans and disproportionately harm minority communities," Trump said from the East Room of the White House. "I will not stand for it."
  • Trump has presided over an unprecedented rollback of over 80 environmental regulations spanning air pollution, drilling and infrastructure, including many that were put in place by President Barack Obama.
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President Donald Trump used a speech aimed at touting his record on the environment to declare war on the Green New Deal, a key strand of the progressive agenda heading into the 2020 presidential election.

"[It will] kill millions of jobs, it will crush the dreams of the poorest Americans and disproportionately harm minority communities," Trump said from the East Room of the White House. "I will not stand for it."

Trump said it would cost $100 trillion to fully implement Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's plan, which calls for a wholesale transition of the American economy to renewable energy to prevent the worst effects of climate change. He also described the Green New Deal's cost - appeared to have been drawn from a conservative group with undisclosed donors - as "unthinkable" and "unaffordable even in the best of times."

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says her Green New Deal climate plan would cost at least $10 trillion

Trump used the speech, billed as "America's Environmental Leadership," to recast his environmental record but also bring attention to an area where he's been able to deliver on his campaign promises. He's also brought in former lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry into his administration, including his Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Andrew Wheeler. Trump has argued that regulations protecting the environment place an undue burden on businesses and hurt economic growth - and he's weakened many on climate change.

Environmental scientists and policy experts, though, warn that climate change is the most dire threat facing human society in the 21st century. And it's beginning to realign the public's attitude on how to respond: 62% of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of climate change, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Environmental activists were quick to blast the speech. The Sierra Club labeled it "greenhouse gaslighting" and described his environmental record as the "worst record on the environment and climate action of any president in the history of the country."

Trump has presided over an unprecedented rollback of over 80 environmental regulations spanning air pollution, drilling and infrastructure, including many that were put in place by President Barack Obama. He also pulled out of the Paris climate accord and undid Obama's Clean Power Plan.

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