With the recent appointments of the Trump administration to the EPA, the word “protection” in the title, Environmental Protection Agency, no longer applies.
This administration’s vow to roll back government oversight, which was championed by Trump during the campaign, has taken a potentially deadly turn in the installation of Scott Pruitt as EPA head. Pruitt has been an advocate for the oil, gas and coal industry, has denied the impacts of climate change, and after his appointment, signaled that he will not renew the Obama administration’s Clean Water Act. He has also gone against the agency’s findings in mothballing a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide widely used on vegetables and fruits, which has been shown to poison groundwater and directly impact human health, especially that of farmworkers. This is just the tip of the iceberg in the dismantling of the EPA.
Shortly after his inauguration, Trump welcomed coal miners to the White House in an effort to make good on his promise to revive the dying coal industry. This went hand in hand with the rolling back of the Clean Water Act which will allow mines to resume dumping toxic chemicals into waterways.
To further add insult to injury, Nancy B. Beck, joined the EPA in May. She is a former member of the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association. She is an advocate of lessening oversight on potentially harmful chemicals.
Just announced is the EPA’s decision not to let 2 of its scientists speak at a conference, 3 years in the making, of the state of the Narragansett Bay Watershed Program and the relation to climate change. This follows the scrubbing of the EPA website by Trump’s political appointees which addresses human causes in climate change.
This is just the latest in the Trump administration’s assault on the banishment of scientific evidence regarding climate change, environmental impacts of chemicals, pesticides and potentially harmful substances which endanger humans and the ecosystem.
It is horrifically clear to those of us concerned with our planet’s health and that of its people, this is not a priority of this administration.
Government oversight has protected us from a myriad of potential harm from insidious corporate actions executed in the name of cost-cutting and greed. Citizens who applauded a rollback of regulations in favor of less government may learn that they are the ones being hurt most.
Therefore, we need that protection in the “P” of the EPA, as well as other agencies under the axe of the Trump administration.