One way to reduce the number of deaths caused by pollution is to reduce pollution through regulation.
Another way to reduce the number of deaths caused by pollution is to just stop recording deaths.
The Trump regime has had difficulty rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations because the truth is those regulations will actually save lives so the Trump regime is planning to change the way it calculates premature deaths caused by pollution.
The proposed change would dramatically reduce the 1,400 additional premature deaths per year that the E.P.A. had initially forecast as a result of replacing the old climate change regulation — the Clean Power Plan, which was President Barack Obama’s signature climate change rule — and make it easier to defend for the administration to defend the new measure, known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule.
The five people familiar with the plan, who are all current or former E.P.A. officials, said the new modeling method would be used in the agency’s analysis of the final version of the ACE rule, which is expected to be made public in June. William L. Wehrum, the E.P.A. air quality chief, acknowledged in an interview the new method would be part of the agency’s final analysis of the rule.
This is very similar to the Trump regime's plan to reduce the number of Americans living in poverty by changing the way it calculates inflation in the cost of living.
Changing mathematical formulas doesn't mean the problem will go away. It doesn't mean fewer Americans will die from pollution or that fewer Americans will live in poverty. It means government will be less effective and less accountable.
Changing the way we calculate premature deaths caused pollution could lead to more deaths because regulations will be crafted with blind spots that leave people vulnerable.
Likewise, changing the way we calculate poverty could actually increase poverty because programs intended to combat poverty will not have access to an accurate count of people those programs should serve.
If you're one of those people who believe government can't do anything right, the Trumps are intentionally rewriting the rules to ensure that it can't.