It’s hard to say, you could argue that President Lincoln or either President Roosevelt presided over the U.S. during the largest periods of environmental damage because they were in office during periods which saw our largest industrial expansions. But all of them also were important to the U.S.’s conservation efforts, preserving landmarks and creating national parks. Also, during their presidencies, people were not acutely aware of our effect on the environment.
I would say that more recently, George W. Bush’s Clean Air Act and the New Source Review programs were the first in three decades that actually attempted to repeal protections we already had. And he tried to reduce protections for endangered species and otherwise gut environmental protections, so I feel confident in saying his policies have and will do more damage to the environment than those of his predecessors, even Reagan or Bush.
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