A powerful coalition is trying to undermine both the both the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. Thanks be to God, there are thoughtful leaders who are fighting for our health and future. Last December, Representative Henry Waxman released a list of 191 anti-environmental votes taken by Congress in 2011. Seventy-seven targeted the Clean Air Act and 114 were aimed at the Environmental Protection Agency.
What is driving these destructive forces? Concern for profits, of course, is on the table and obvious to everyone but many of them are in error about the costs. Just look at the benefits from one environmental regulation, the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. This Act is estimated to create 100,000 new jobs by 2015 including 80,500 from investments in pollution abatement and control. We should not be discouraged in this struggle. The opposition have extraordinary resources. They have the money and the lawyers but the laws and the facts are on the side of environment and good health.
All of creation is a gift from God and, of course, for us this most especially concerns this battered planet Earth. It is a free gift from God but we have the responsibility to use its resources as effectively and as generously as possible. Tragic damage has been done to the planet over the last century and a half. The tide turned about 25 years ago and things have been improving rather steadily. Let’s not let the profiteers take us backwards!
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All of us live in a complex society in which seemingly mysterious forces are swirling around us – some of them helping us, some of them hurting us. We are often too busy to familiarize ourselves with these issues and hope that somebody else is monitoring them.
Well, thank God for the Environmental Protection Agency. The staff struggles year in and year out to protect all Americans from constant efforts of corporate polluters to attack public health and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency is a public entity, established in 1970 during the presidency of Richard Nixon. As a government agency, it is sharply limited on what it can do in direct political activity but there are many other private entities that struggle also to oppose the currently unparalleled attacks on the EPA by anti-environmental polluters.
Today, I am thinking especially of the Environmental Defense Fund, currently striving mightily to block an unprecedented attack on the environment. This summer, no less than 40 anti-environmental riders were added to the 2012 spending bill for the Interior Department and the EPA. If they became law, many of these riders would be disastrous. For example, they could:
• Prevent the EPA from regulating mercury, smog and soot from power plants.
• Bar the EPA from spending to enforce the agreement between the administration and car manufacturers to raise vehicle fuel economy, effectively killing the deal.
• Open one million acres adjacent to the Grand Canyon to uranium mining; despoiling that iconic landscape.
The Environmental Defense Fund is fighting back and certainly deserves the support and encouragement of anyone who is concerned about the environment and the health of American citizens.
Take action. Tell Congress to stand up for the nation’s bedrock environmental laws at edf.org/stoppolluters.
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