SHOULD MAKE RESOLUTIONS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
hope our newly elected political representatives are busily making New
Years resolutions regarding what is best for the country on the
environmental front. Lots of pledges were made during the election cycle
concerning changes to federal regulatory agencies. We all know just
how meaningless such vows can be once the election is over, but if some
of the threats/promises are carried out, the effect on the environment
would be horrific.
changes in several major federal programs should alarm any discerning
U.S. citizen. If you value clean water, clean air and healthy ecosystems,
the Environmental Protection Agency is your ally. Recommendations to
curtail the effectiveness of this critical overseer of what makes our
country great environmentally range from disturbing to outrageous. Admittedly,
some of the verbiage may have been mere political rhetoric during the
election season with no real intent to follow through, but some of the
suggestions themselves are inherently irresponsible.
of abolishing the EPA is absurd. Yet this preposterous idea has been
proposed by more than one politician recently. This absolutely ridiculous
concept should not be tolerated by us, the voters. A worthwhile New
Years resolution would be to oppose any legislation that even
hints at getting rid of a government agency that limits assaults on
the environment from unchecked commercial greed. The outcomes from a
weakened EPA would be detrimental to the majority of U.S. citizens.
of what would happen by gutting the authority of the EPA are disquieting.
One prominent senator has suggested eliminating EPA regulations that
prevent mining wastes from being dumped into clear-flowing mountain
streams. Seriously? Do we want to have streams that trout and other
aquatic wildlife can no longer live in? I dont think so. President
Richard Nixon had it right when he formed the EPA in 1970 and signed
the Clean Water Act in 1972.
suggestion has been to reduce EPA air quality regulations. Such regulations
limit emissions that result in such undesirable outcomes as acid rain,
smog and lung cancer. Think about it. Do we want to return to scenes
like those I photographed outside Birmingham, Alabama, and Gary, Indiana,
in the early 1960s? You could not see buildings a half mile away because
of the smoke and soot filling the air. That would certainly not be in
the best interest of the nations citizenry. President Nixon did
the right thing when he signed the Clean Air Act in 1970. Weakening
regulatory features of the EPA would definitely not be an improvement.
Clean air and clean water are crucial for maintaining the quality of
life we have come to expect.
everyone resolve to keep our countrys natural heritage and a healthy
environment as priorities for the coming year. Keep an eye on proposed
changes in any program that can affect the environment in your community,
your region, your nation. Resolve to challenge your congressional representatives
when you hear of a proposal that would diminish the effectiveness of
maintaining standards for potable water and unpolluted air.
resolution to get the facts when politicians start making promises they
claim will help John and Jane Q. Public. Do not fall for the political
ploy that the economy will be boosted and jobs will be created if environmental
regulations are weakened or eliminated. Look, instead, at who would
benefit from the loosening of any given environmental regulation. Someone
will be making money, but it wont be you and me. We will be stuck
with murky skies, undrinkable water and habitats in which our native
wildlife cannot survive.
to pay attention to what would happen to our air, water and ecosystems
if certain regulations are eliminated. Will a proposed change be in
the best interest of the general public or does it financially benefit
only a few special interest groups? Make these resolutions for yourself
and future generations and have a happy new year.
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