cartoon of the week

Trump and the Environment

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CREDIT: Steve Breen/

President-elect Donald Trump has started assembling his cabinet and he recently chose Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal office whose mission is to protect human health and the environment. As attorney general of Oklahoma, a state with many oil and gas interests, Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA over environmental regulations, saying they are too stringent and stifle business activity. And he has argued for more debate over whether climate change is real—a position that puts him at odds with 97 percent of scientists, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. While President Obama has made fighting climate change a priority, Trump has called climate change “a hoax,” although he recently said he’d keep an open mind about it.


  1. What’s happening in the cartoon, and where is the scene taking place? Describe what you see.
  2. Why do you think president-elect Trump is depicted as one of the clusters of clouds being pumped out of industrial chimneys?
  3. What point might the cartoonist be trying to make? Explain.
  4. Why do you think Trump might appoint someone who has sued the EPA to lead the agency?
  5. What impact do you think Trump’s new direction on energy will have on the environment?
  6. How might businesses that believe there should be less environmental regulation react to the cartoon?

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