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Organic Consumers Association

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Trump's Plans for Protecting Polluters Have Been a Devastating Success

In the first days of the Donald Trump presidency, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon famously described the administration’s plans for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Despite the constant apparent chaos in parts of the West Wing, Trump officials throughout the executive branch have lived up to this promise to use bureaucratic tools to throttle federal law enforcement of polluters and corporations with an almost zealous meticulousness.

Across the Trump administration, top agency officials have been busy building a bureaucratic scaffolding to stymie federal enforcement actions against the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful players. Officials in the Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others, have been moving to muzzle agencies’ fact-finding powers, add layers of bureaucratic control, complicate chains of command, and strip power from regional officers and enforcement specialists. The result has been historic declines in enforcement actions against banks, corporations, and corporate executives—precisely as Bannon promised.

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