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Earth Day Co-Founder Blasts Trump Administration's Environmental Record

RUMSEY, YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) - The former Republican congressman who co-founded Earth Day 50 years ago believes the Trump administration is undoing much of the environmental progress made since 1970.

pete mccloskey earth day
Former congressman Pete McCloskey co-founded Earth Day in 1970

"He's a terrible man," said former Bay Area representative Pete McCloskey, 92, who now lives in Yolo County.

During a recent conversation on his farm in Rumsey, McCloskey listed a number of actions Trump has taken to relax or abolish environmental laws and regulations, from allowing hunters to shoot hibernating bears to legalizing the unintentional killing of migratory birds by energy companies.

"He's a cruel man. He holds out the face of America as a cruel country, and we're not," McCloskey said.

McCloskey has a history of challenging presidents who he disagrees with, even when they're members of his own party.

READ ALSO: Earth Day: Is Mother Nature Breathing A Sigh Of Relief With More Sacramentans Home?

In 1972, McCloskey launched a primary campaign against the reelection of Richard Nixon over Nixon's support of the Vietnam War. McCloskey says he became a Democrat when he learned the second Bush administration authorized the torture of suspected terrorists.

This time he's calling on his fellow Democrats to unseat the incumbent president, who has called global warming a hoax.

"Whether the Democratic party can come together with the understanding the somebody's got to beat Trump or this nation is in trouble for four more years," McCloskey said. "You have to hope that the young kids will come out as they did on Earth Day 50 years ago."

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