Hands Off the EPA

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Flickr / Glennia

Andrew Oliver
Staff Writer

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is working hard at deregulating Obama-era regulations meant to protect the environment and the people in it. President Trump’s promises to do so have been made under the guise of returning rightful power to the states in environmental matters, as well as doing away with regulations which, according to the administration, are terrible job-killers.

However, despite the administration’s failure to repeal Obamacare, pass tax reform or effectively govern at all, there is one campaign promise made by Trump’s administration that is being carried out with great enthusiasm, and with potentially disastrous results for his administration, and for his chances in the 2020 election, should he attempt to run again.

Getting rid of these regulations, however, will not do the administration any favors when the results start to become apparent. No matter what side of the political aisle one stands on, everybody tends to be in favor of clean water and clean air. Doing away with environmental regulations from an agency which already has limited power to make our environment healthy and habitable will be disastrous.

Recently, Pruitt announced that the EPA will not be implementing the Clean Power Plan, which called for a decrease of carbon monoxide emissions by 32 percent by the year 2030. Along with the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, this is a big win for the coal industry, and for Trump’s reputation as a deregulator and job creator within the fossil fuel and coal industries.

In February, Trump signed an order to “review and reconsider” the Clean Water Rule, a measure which allows the federal government to regulate pollution flowing into important bodies of water and the waterways which flow into those bodies of water. The rule has not been totally eliminated as of yet, but judging by this administration’s penchant for deregulation, especially where the environment is concerned, it is not unreasonable to be wary.

With more deregulation likely to come from an eager Scott Pruitt, we can expect some drastic results which could cause some significant uproar towards the Trump administration. With more power turned over to the states, it is not out of the question to assume that many conservative states, which often side with big business over the environment, will allow said businesses to get away with far more in terms of pollution. In these states, including North Carolina, which often went heavily for Trump in the election, coal ash will be dumped into water, mountain tops will be destroyed for coal deposits, and the air will become more difficult to breathe.

The sad part is that all of these things have already been happening, even in the Obama administration. Imagine, then, if this was spurred on even further by states who have no problem with corporations dumping their waste into rivers, lake and important waterways.

If this is the case, many of Trump’s electorate, those who trust him to bring positive change, will be betrayed by the person and the administration that they voted for. How does the Trump administration figure their support will be when many of their voters are forced to drink and bathe in water which makes them sick?

These deregulatory measures will bring nothing but chaos to Trump’s administration and any sort of political mandate they still have. More than that, it has the potential to bring further chaos to a United States which is diving further and further into disenchantment with the very systems it is operating on.

When people’s very health and state of living are made more at risk by Trump policies, we can expect action from a desperate population which may feel they have no power to turn to. With no one representing their best interests, many will likely take matters into their own hands to protect their communities or lash out against a callous and unstable government.

For now, I suggest contacting any and every representative you can, while getting involved in political action, to raise awareness on these issues. Try to reach out to people, and, whether they support the sitting president or not, let them know the disastrous effects these policies will have.

If Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt know what’s good for them, and what’s good for their future as politicians, they would do well to take care of the Earth that their voters live and rely on.

 



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