During the most recent Republican Presidential debate, Donald Trump proposed getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency altogether, a government agency founded in 1970 by Republican President Richard Nixon. Trump’s skewed logic was the agency’s $8 billion budget is wasted and should be reallocated to the states.
In response to Rubio’s pressing of Trump for what his plan is to cut taxes and balance the federal budget, Trump replied:
“Environmental protection – we waste all of this money. We’re going to bring that back to the states. We are going to cut many of the agencies, we will balance our budget and we will be dynamic again.”
The radical proposal of Trump defies anything remotely close to being realistic. Trump has also accused the EPA of creating more damage than they protect and making it impossible for the country to compete. His rhetoric is part of the mode of thinking many of his supporters have, that the government somehow is impeding their ability to improve their lives, and the solution is de-regulating everything in order for a free market of competition will solve everything. In reality, dissolving the EPA, which would involve repealing many environmental laws, would leave environmental protection up to the states, where most do not have the resources to enforce meaningful environmental regulations. This would also cause a vacuum of competition where states would try to appeal to hazardous industries to come to their state by downgrading environmental regulations.
Because the entire Republican Party has lost their minds, Trump’s proposal is one that has also been adopted by Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz. This past January, Rubio dubbed the EPA, the “Employment Prevention Agency,” adding the agency’s regulations are out of control and hurt our economy.
Cruz, who already is notorious for wanting to repeal all federal climate change regulation and the Clean Air Act, told Breitbart News in 2015, “I think states should press back using every tool they have available. We’ve got to rein in a lawless executive that is abusing its power,” in response to a question as to whether states should comply with EPA coal regulations.
The proposal to get rid of the EPA would be disastrous for the environment and the daily lives of every American. The endemic species throughout this country and the ecosystems they inhabit are already under insurmountable stress, and the science overwhelmingly shows environmental regulations, caps, and oversight are needed to mitigate the effects of climate change and other environmental influences.
Dissolving the EPA is just one of the many dangers the Republican presidential candidates pose to the American public if elected, and if they were ever successful in doing so, the damage incurred could potentially destroy parts of the country indefinitely with hazardous sites, toxic waste pollution, and increasing emission rates becoming more of the norm. If anything, the EPA’s funding needs to be increased, and the agency improved by making it more effective, because the stakes couldn’t be higher. America cannot afford a president who doesn’t understand action needs to be made to combat climate change, not worsen it.
Featured image via Screen Capture