In spite of all of the damage being done to the United States and its relationships with allies, I have feared from the outset the damage the US President would do to the environment and our planet.
The word “Protection” no longer applies to defining the mission of the EPA. The “P” has been replaced by “Punishment.” Between the President and two industry favoring EPA directors (not to mention a transition plan climate change denier), the environment is becoming a bigger pool to pee in.
It started out with the attack on scientists who study and developed world-class data and reports on climate change. Access to these reports were removed from the government webpages and many scientists were reassigned to non-science positions which they had to take or were fired. Why? If your position is so grounded, why must you remove the other side’s arguments?
On top of rolling back numerous regulations that governed industry, several major changes also occurred:
– the compliance with the Clean Power Plan has been eliminated.
– the US is one of three countries to not support the Paris Climate Change Accord.
– the Clean Waters Act was greatly changed from a regulatory standpoint, unwinding changes made by Obama and both Bushes.
– And, this week, coal companies have greater license to let mercury and other pollutants escape (after they already made changes to comply with the 2011 requirement). The reason is the value of lives and dollar savings due to just the mercury change were less than the cost (yet that is subterfuge as the savings of lives and dollars due to other pollutants dwarfs the cost). I won’t even dignify the comment of the value of life being lost.
The legacy of this President will haunt our country and planet for a long time. Good actions are being taken in spite of this President’s efforts, but so much more could be done. I would encourage all voters, but especially young ones, to challenge all politicians about their environmental stance. This must be the issue of 2019 or we will lose momentum. To me, this is beyond horrible stewardship. It is malfeasance.
Note to Readers: Check out Gronda’s post on the influence of ALEC on the US effort to deregulate the EPA.