Protecting the EPA
by Anonymous Student
Each presidential election stimulates plenty of discussion on what each candidate would add or seek to remove from the current structure. Each candidate is typically judged on what voters believe to be the best fit for the job. This last presidential election was routine, yet rather unpredictable. Donald Trump, an unqualified provoking candidate, became our 45th president. Aside from the many inappropriate and irrational ideas Trump proposed throughout his campaign, several of those ideas are extremely detrimental to the progression of the world we live in today. One of those ideas is the abolishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Trump remarked several times during the election that he would seek to eliminate several federal programs such as the EPA. The EPA was established in 1970 to monitor, research, and enforce laws which focus on the protection of our delicate environment (EPA.GOV). The elimination of such an important department is only a reinforcement of the neglect Trump and his Republican colleagues fail to understand: climate change is real! The constant denial of such lawmakers is completely astonishing and counterintuitive. The elimination of the EPA would be one step in the wrong direction in an attempt to counter environmental issues such as climate change.
“Actions speak louder than words.” It is no surprise that Trump is no different than any other politician, if not worse as evidently observed. He promised and remarked several things throughout his campaign yet has failed to live up to his words and in fact flipped on many of the things which got him elected. However, he has taken several steps which seem to elude his continued support for the elimination and/or reduced role of the EPA. Trump thus this far, has signed executive action that will impede and eliminate previous initiatives signed by president Obama which were set in place to combat climate change such as regulation on carbon emissions (CNN, 2017). Similarly, to his Republican colleagues, he believes that climate change is not an actual phenomenon, countered by the majority of the science community. One previous tweet of his illustrates his ignorance on the matter, “NBC News just called it the great freeze – coldest weather in years. Is our country spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?” (Twitter, 2014). Additionally, Trump signed an executive order which essentially stated that government agencies must eliminate two regulations for every regulation they create (Business Insider, 2017). It seems rather unclear and justification should be sought. Most of the proposals and guidelines created by the EPA are extensively researched and credibly science-based. It would be irresponsible to abide by such an order and eliminate previous important regulations just because of the creation of a new one. Trump’s erratic behavior truly demonstrates he is unfit to be the President of the United States and is not taking his job seriously.
Moreover, Trump’s latest budget proposal indicates that the EPA would lose funding by nearly a third. To make this clearer, the EPA would have a cut of over 2.5 billion dollars (Guardian, 2017). This seems to be perfectly fine with the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, who was nominated by Trump. Prior to his nomination, Pruitt filed many lawsuits with the EPA and is a strong skeptic of climate change himself, yet is the head of the organization. Lastly, a recent bill, H.R. 861, was introduced that proposed to eliminate the EPA by December, 31st, 2018. The good thing is that this bill lacks the required initiative to actually eliminate the EPA and was just a tactic used to stimulate attention. Although, the executive action and the proposed cut of funding seem to be the biggest threats to the EPA at the present time. The many who are concerned with such actions should voice their opinion in masses. I had the opportunity to participate in a group discussion with climate activist, Peter Sinclair. One of the question asked of him was, “what can we do about the current stance on climate change in regards to this administration?” He remarked that we must be vocal with our opinions. Peter contacts his state representative weekly with his concerns, engages in town hall meetings voicing his opinion, and participated in activist rallies throughout the country. In order to change something, we must be the change and follow through on things which matter to us.
In brief, the elimination of the EPA would have long-term detrimental effects on our way of living. The fight to combat climate change and protect the planet which we live in would be hindered and we would also see quality degrade over time. These include things such as but not limited to: air quality, water quality, protection from hazardous toxins, etc. (Vice, 2017). We must not let the current administration revoke us the right of living a quality life. It is obvious that Trump does not understand the impact of climate change and the importance of protecting our environment. Regardless of what Trump says or does, we the people, must not allow negligence to stand in the way. The continuation of the EPA is vital.
Donald Trump ‘taking steps to abolish Environmental Protection Agency’ | US news | The Guardian. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/donald-trump-plans-to-abolish-environmental-protection-agency
Environmental Protection Agency: Bill Would End EPA | Time.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://time.com/4673233/epa-elimination-donald-trump-scott-pruitt/
EPA History. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/history
Trump dramatically changes US approach to climate change – CNNPolitics.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/27/politics/trump-climate-change-executive-order/
What Would Happen if the EPA Stopped Working Altogether? – VICE. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/an-expert-explains-what-would-happen-if-the-epa-stopped-working-altogether