In 1970, in response to the number of confusing, often ineffective environmental protection laws enacted by states and communities, President Richard Nixon created the EPA to fix national guidelines and to monitor and enforce them.
The EPA’s basic mission is to protect human health and the environment including matters related to air, water, and land. The EPA, state, local and tribal agencies work together to ensure compliance with environmental laws passed by Congress, state legislatures and tribal governments.
The EPA has a responsibility to protect Americans from the effects of things like Pesticides, vehicle and industrial emissions, water quality, clean air and global climate change. These are just a few examples, there are dozens of other environmental issues that the EPA oversees.
A good example of what the EPA has had significant success with is related to the automotive industry. The carbon emissions of cars in the 60s was finally determined to be extremely unhealthy to humans and the atmosphere.
Since then, the EPA has championed laws and regulations that executed important changes. Evolving technology has resulted in the automotive industry building cars that are lowering air pollutants and dangerous toxins to levels at least 1,000 times less than 50 years ago. Interestingly, today there is actually a diesel truck produced by Nissan that is engineered to all but eliminate carbon emissions. These vehicles basically emit water and nitrogen vapors that are effectively pollution free.
As it seems now electric cars are being considered as the best way to eliminate carbon emissions in the future. Believe it or not the EPA plays a role in protecting Americans from dangerous environmental issues caused by this technology. Just think about how the electric cars spent batteries are disposed of.
The EPA is not just a bureaucracy that is important to tree huggers and wildlife advocates.
The EPA cannot be as effective as it should be with all of the recent repeal of regulations. I am not saying that all regulations are important enough to warrant protective laws and the contribution of tax payer dollars.
Honestly, I believe that the purpose of the recent mass repeal of many laws is more to appease special interests who scream that in the case of the EPA, many environmental laws handcuff their members from being able to maximize their profits thus reducing jobs.
How and why would the current administration pamper these groups over protecting the American people. Doesn’t it make sense that most environmental related laws are designed to police the activities of these very business groups. As an example, decades ago, there were few regulations that prevented industry from dumping contaminated waste into the ground and our waterways. Although this practice causes serious harm to our environment, there were limited consequences for those that were doing the polluting. If current regulations are in place to protect the environment and stop these deadly practices, we can’t and shouldn’t have any sympathy for the companies and industries that insist that our laws hamstring their ability to do business. To me, if your business relies on being able to pollute, then I would find another business. By the way, I can’t see these groups closing or relocating. I am pretty sure that they will continue to comply with the law and continue to work with the regulations. Who are their customers?
It baffles me that the current secretary of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has a record that compromises the role of the very department that he is responsible for. It also baffles me that matters related to changes in our environmental policies and laws are happening under the radar of public media. To me this is one of the most important governing bodies in our government. I am not saying that there isn’t a majority American companies and citizens that take the state of our environment seriously. These individuals and business leaders voluntarily police themselves and invest in environmental protections. Unfortunately, a very significant number of American companies and interests don’t.
Just compare our progress to countries that are an environmental disaster such as China. Interestingly, even the largest polluters in this world support efforts to address climate change. Almost all countries, except the United States and a couple of third world countries that is. The lack of cooperation and commitment by our country via our government says a lot about how our country is looking out for future generations.
Here is just a couple of the laws that the current administration vows to repeal:
The clean power plan has been repealed by the Trump administration which unravels an Obama era law that provided rules to police the harmful emissions of the energy sector. The government eliminated the law in part because Pruitt doesn’t believe the science that fossil fuels such as coal contribute to one third of our air pollution. Among other consequences, this culture will have an adverse effect on global climate change. The repeal was initiated by President Trump to release the coal industry from sensible regulation. It is becoming obvious that coal industry is dying, even though the President thinks that eliminating regulations for this and many other groups will increase employment to levels bigger than any time in history (sarc.).
I am glad that a majority of the country’s industries, especially utilities, are and will continue to make changes and produce power from sources such as natural gas and other technologies including wind and solar power.
The Trump administration is revoking a law that gives the EPA broad authority to address violations and enforce laws related to waterways and wetlands.
Pruitt, the head of the EPA is attempting to revoke a rule titled the Effluent Limitations Guidelines which specifically effects pollution restrictions within the coal industry. This effort is solely a result of special interest lobbying. He claims that such a change is in the best interests of America.
Donald Trump has signed an executive order that requires agencies to eliminate two regulations for every one regulation that is added to law. The EPA is the largest agency to be effected, and not in a positive way.
If you are interested in the President’s take on accepting responsibility, google the company in South Carolina that his son went broke running and that dad bought from him. You will read that the property was abandoned with barrels of toxic waste sitting on the back dock. President Trump and his son wouldn’t except responsibility, even insisting the state clean it up.
I understand that managing regulation is an important core value of the republican party. I also understand that many matters related to this agency require bi-partisan discussion and compromise. Let’s try to work together. At any rate, as Americans, we need to keep an eye on this important branch of our government
Next up: HUD and The Interior.