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Author Topic: Pollution  (Read 12519 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #630 on: January 03, 2018, 08:46:15 pm »




January 3, 2018

Quote
Trump Admin is Pro-Pollution, For All Intents and Purposes

Welcome to 2018! What do you intend to do this year? Anything new, or more of the same? If you’re in the Trump administration, odds are you intend to do exactly what you did all of last year: help polluters in any way possible.

The Washington Post ended 2017 with a look at how Scott Pruitt has reshaped the EPA into a more industry-friendly organization. One particular word stood out to us as emblematic of how Pruitt is treating the relationship between regulator and industry: intent.

Pre-Pruitt, EPA administrators from both parties knew industry would try to be as cheap as possible about their pollution problems. In the past, part of the agency’s responsibility to ensure public health was protected from bad actors cutting corners was to make sure polluters weren’t hiding pollution--for example, by having someone independent double-checking reported emissions. But Pruitt seems to believe that as long as industries promise not to pollute and don’t intend to pollute, well then by golly, we should just take their word for it.

The Post describes a Dec. 7th memo from Pruitt on pollution restrictions on a DTE Energy power plant, the subject of a court case Pruitt inherited from Obama’s EPA. The EPA had been asking to double-check the company’s emission projections. Pruitt reversed that position, saying instead that so long as the company expresses an “intent” to reduce pollution, the EPA will trust DTE at its word to reduce emissions. It seems suspiciously naive to believe a company would voluntarily spend money to reduce pollution with only a scouts’ honor level of enforcement.

Even when an industry has proven it can’t be trusted with the public’s health, the Trump administration keeps rolling back regulations. The administration began its rollback of key offshore drilling protections last week, instead choosing to trust the industry’s “recommended practices” for testing safety equipment. These “recommended practices” were in place before the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed eleven and polluted the Gulf of Mexico. Clearly these practices aren’t perfect. Nor are the energy industry’s practices regarding migratory birds, but the Interior department’s lifting protections for those species, so long as it’s not industry’s intention to kill birds.

And then there’s Trump and his intentions. He campaigned on a promise to save the forgotten coal miners, and has even begun claiming victory. But as always, intentions and actions are a world apart. Not only are the coal industry and West Virginia far from “doing fantastically now,” as Trump claims, but in fact, there were more coal fatalities in West Virginia in 2017 than there were in all states in 2016. So of course, Trump’s celebrating by considering putting more miners’ lives at risk by repealing regulations inteded to protect miners from black lung disease.
 
Time and again, we’re seeing that the Trump administration is going to trust industry’s professed intentions--even when it’s proven that the intentions aren’t good enough to protect the industry’s own employees. We should be smart enough to know better than do the same with the Trump administration’s intentions, and always keep an eye on the actions.

If the sudden reappearance of the Mooch has you genuinely questioning what Trump really thinks about climate change, after 99 tweets and after Paris and the Clean Power Plan pullouts and his administration’s pro-polluter agenda...well, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn we intend to sell you.
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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