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In a real world of complex new technologies, crowded cities, multiple interests, and exponential information growth, we need regulations.
Today we have an EPA Administrator who is willfully and aggressively deregulating elements of environmental protection. We need to resist federal cutbacks in environmental protection policies and programs, while also continuing to keep our eye on the daily, operational tasks of creating sustainable economy.
A number of national and local governments are tightening environmental regulations and shutting down specific mining projects, or in some cases the entire industry, due to environmental risks, including those related to water use and pollution.
There are places where EPA will fail the American people. But while state and local governments cannot perform all the functions that a national environmental agency can, visible local environmental and health impacts will lead mayors and governors to act.
Last week, the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt attacked his own agency in an address to the Conservative Political Action summit. The attack on environmental regulation by the head of EPA is a remarkable nightmare. Fortunately, in our federal system, state and local officials will be able to fill in if the federal government refuses to act.
Until now, Administrator Pruitt has been an enemy of EPA, but he has a chance to change the narrative and demonstrate that his conservative principles are consistent with the goals of environmental protection. I hope he decides to save EPA and serve the American people.
Many schools are being tested for lead in their water. But what about the libraries, hospitals, offices and old apartment buildings? As I observe the new president and his EPA designee, I worry about the adverse effect deregulating environmental protection would have on our families. There is more work to do if we are to truly understand the impact of human technology on the environment and public health.
With the phrase “climate change” disappearing from U.S. federal government websites and increased talk of regulatory overreach, it is obvious that protecting the environment will continue to be a fault line in American political ideology. However, though ideology will shape the nature and speed of response, the environmental problem is real and cannot be ignored.
Princess, a division of Carnival Cruise line, the largest passenger cruise company in the world, has pleaded guilty to seven felony charges and will pay $40 million after employees on a cruise ship were caught dumping oiled waste into the seas and lying to cover up their actions. This as an issue of management that is not limited to Princess or Carnival, but to whole areas of business practice that continue to ignore their responsibility to apply best management practices and the best available technology to operations such as waste disposal.