House GOP Attacks EPA and Environmental Regulations-What This Means For YOUR HealthBy Ali Geering-Kline
In the hands of the GOP, Congress has mounted an all-out assault on the Environmental Protection Agency, pushing an extensive list of measures to shackle the EPA from exercising its regulatory authority.
But wait, there’s more: the House Republican’s 2012 budget aims to drastically restructure federal policy on a number of fronts: cutting energy research, agricultural subsidies, and the government workforce while lifting the few current “moratoriums and bans” on domestic fossil-fuel exploration.
The House budget and proposals have gained national attention as the central planks of the GOP’s unapologetic and economically devastating corporate giveaway. But that attention only seems to have emboldened the Republican leadership in Congress, who have dubiously dubbed their efforts the “American Energy Initiative”.
American Energy Initiative? If by “American” they mean “dirty and polluting”, then sure.
The only sources of energy that the GOP Energy Initiative will invest in are unsustainable health compromising, and environmentally devastating—namely oil, coal, and nuclear. Yes, the Grand Old Prevaricators are working hard to convince Americans that clean energy means unemployment and higher costs and that our economy and our survival depend on destroying the earth by drilling for oil and mining for coal.
As Josh Freed, Director of the Energy Program at the centrist think tank Third Way states, “[The Republican budget plan] continues business as usual on fossil fuels under the guise of reducing regulation and increasing energy independence.” In fact, Freed also notes that by protecting existing regulated markets and continuing investment in oil and coal energy, the Republicans’ plan eviscerates innovation by cutting energy research, completely “pulling the rug out from under clean energy deployment.”
Here’s a quick rundown of the GOP-dominated House’s recent assaults on the environment:
- Last month’s GOP budget plan proposal aims to slash the EPA’s budget by nearly a third, crippling the agency’s ability to enforce important regulations, like reducing greenhouse gases and gutting the Clean Air Act. But here’s the truth: If the EPA is constrained by big business and its GOP errand boys (and girls), no one will protect people from the illnesses caused by environmental pollution. According to the agency, the Clean Air Act alone will, if implemented successfully, prevent up to 17,000 deaths and 11,000 heart attacks each year.
- Two weeks ago, the Senate Democrats defeated GOP amendments to a small business relief bill that would have explicitly blocked the EPA from forcing industries to cut back on emissions of global warming gases.
- Several weeks ago, the GOP House reps called for a vote again, to try to pass the deceptively-named “Energy Tax Prevention Act,” which would similarly block the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, notably attacking the vital Clean Air Act. Thankfully, the Senate rejected it (but some Democrats even sided with big polluters and radical Republicans). Please sign on to CREDO’s petition to show these Democrats you’re concerned they’re siding with Republicans and against children, families, and communities!
- In the past few weeks, Tea Party governors in Maine, Florida and North Carolina have begun attempting to deregulate crucial environmental protections in their states.
- And back in the House of Shame, the GOP is attempting to gut the important law that limits toxic chemicals in children’s products. CEH’s own Caroline Cox flew to D.C to testify in Congress and set the record straight.
These are just a few of the GOP’s latest assault on the environment and on people’s health. And we know they will certainly not be the last.
Bottom-line: The GOP’s anti-EPA movement completely ignores science and the fact that if we don’t cut down on dangerous pollutants and greenhouse gases now, it will ultimately cost us lives.Tags: American Energy Initiative, Clean Air Act, Dirty Energy, EPA budget cuts, EPA regulations, GOP "Energy Tax Prevention Act", House GOP attack on EPA, Threats to EPA regulations threatens our health
Ali manages the website and coordinates the online communications of CEH. She works with the communications and development staff to create messaging strategies and public education content for CEH’s supporters and online audience. A Bay Area native, Ali attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in Sociology and Cultural Studies. This allowed her to live abroad in Argentina, where she studied Latin American history and learned valuable Spanish language skills. Ali is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for healthy communities so effectively.