from Nicholas Scott:
The GOP has recently been setting out on an effort to cut down on a number of domestic programs, yet they are also aiming at many of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations that they believe are a major obstacle in revenue and creating jobs. While the actions have included attempts to lower the power of the clean air act and come down on some of the EPA’s regulations, the campaign to have the EPA’s budget by a third may be the biggest issue of them all. With all of the moves by the GOP against the EPA in early 2011, it seems more like an assault on the foundation of the EPA, rather than just a campaign to help businesses and increase jobs. If the GOP is able to follow through and have the budget sliced by a third, this could bring forth the possibility of diminished air quality and future health risks.
Some republicans are adamant in saying that the clean air act is not at stake with all of their initiatives against the EPA. Republican Fred Upton claims that the GOP is looking to return the clean air act to its original reason for being created, to protect people and families from smog and pollution. Upton was a main backer of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which is directly aimed at taking away the EPA’s ability to oversee greenhouse gas emissions. Upton’s take on regulating emissions seems shaky. Sure he says that he wants to return the clean air act to its original purpose, but he also pushes to let businesses have free rein on emissions. In eliminating the EPA’s ability to regulate these emissions and downplaying their importance, it almost signals to businesses and factories that abusing the levels of emission for the purpose of increased revenue is alright. The price of diminished air quality and the possible ensuing health risks could be the cost of raised revenue and employment
Sometimes it’s very hard to realize the impact an organization like the EPA can have on the people. The EPA works with a number of regulations, standards, and initiatives aimed at reducing health risks. Monitoring greenhouse gas emission for example, allows the EPA to make sure that increased pollution and smog don’t turn into health risks such as asthma and other respiratory problems. The EPA also fights every year to keep public water clean, monitor the level of mercury in fish and aquatic life, as well as monitor pesticides and keeping related illnesses down. The EPA also has an initiative geared towards asbestos removal all over the country. This is aimed at helping to prevent short term risks such as dizziness and nausea, as well as long term health risks like asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos is a type of construction material that was used constantly throughout the last century in all types of products, specifically in many older buildings, workplaces and structures. With mesothelioma life expectancy being very short and workers contracting symptoms, use of this material was gradually blacklisted. While no one uses asbestos today, it’s still being removed from older structures all over the country by the EPA.
The EPA certainly works as an organization that has its hand in a number of different projects, such as promoting sustainability, monitoring levels of pollution, and subsequently looking to keep health risks down. As the battle continues on over whether or not the EPA should be involved with certain issues, both groups are looking for improvements to the country. The EPA is looking to maintain their ability to prevent health risks, while the GOP is looking to increase revenue for businesses, as well as create jobs.
- “How Much Do We Need Greenhouse Gas Regulations” by Nicholas Scott (afrospear.com)
- “GOP Attack On EPA: Guest Post” and related posts (thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com)
- Clean Air Act Attacks Continue and Intensify (mydd.com)
- The Assault on the EPA & the Clean Air Act Begins Today (treehugger.com)
- EPA chief faces hostile House GOP (politico.com)
- Obama pushed to deliver on climate (politico.com)