In a draft proposal rolling back Obama-era regulations on hydrofluorocarbons, the Trump administration scrapped all references to climate change and those most affected by it—primarily, children. In a change first reported by E&E News, the Environmental Protection Agency removed key language about children's health from its proposal on the greenhouse gases known as HFCs, commonly used in household appliances.
"Certain populations and life stages, including children, the elderly, and the poor, are most vulnerable to climate-related health effects," the original rule stated, in a paragraph now absent from the EPA's draft. "Impacts to children are expected from heat waves, air pollution, infectious and waterborne illnesses, and mental health effects resulting from extreme weather events."
According to the Hill, the EPA also struck out all existing references to "climate change" from the draft, claiming the original rule had "exceeded its statutory authority" by aiming to phase out HFCs.
After targeting protections against carbon dioxide and methane, the federal government's latest effort to stymie climate legislation could be its most dangerous yet: HFCs trap "substantially more" heat than other greenhouse gases, the EPA says, depleting ozone for years to come—and yet the agency removed the head of its Office of Children's Health Protection last week, part of a larger anti-regulation agenda that weakens protections for vulnerable populations, officials told the New York Times.