This is not a drill – a bill has been drafted to “completely abolish” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Penned by freshman GOP lawmaker Matt Gaetz of Florida, the bill will aim to entirely dismantle the EPA – the organization responsible for mitigating against pollution, dangerous climate change, and the destruction of America’s public land – before the end of 2018.
Although it is currently being written up and has not even reached the House of Representatives, an email obtained by the Huffington Post reveals that Gaetz is looking for co-sponsors for the bill. In it, he claims that “the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats, and the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender.”
Claiming that small businesses cannot keep up with the apparently overzealous regulations on environmental conservation conjured up by the EPA, he then asks his potential supporters: “I ask for your support in eliminating this abusive and costly agency.”
To say this is deeply distressing is something of an understatement. If there is an issue with small businesses genuinely suffering under too much regulation, then a debate should be had about how the environment can still be protected while small business owners can be helped out in this manner. Just throwing all toys out of the pram and doing away with the entire agency is profoundly ludicrous.
Of course, even if this bill finds its co-sponsors, it might not be passed by Congress. After all, there are plenty of bills waiting for ratification that are just too bizarre even for the most die-hard of conservatives. Take the so-called “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”, for example, which aims to pull the US out of the UN – this will never happen, not even under Trump.
However, it has to be noted that both the White House and Congress are completely controlled by the Republican Party, the number one enemy to environmental preservation and the world’s greatest peddler of climate change denial. You’d be hard pressed to find GOP lawmakers that do not receive hefty donations from fossil fuel industries and not coincidentally disparage the EPA.
Then, of course, there’s Trump and his cabinet of anti-scientific fans of rapid “deregulation”. The President has picked Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, who – incredibly – is an attorney general that has spent much of his career helping states to sue the EPA. The lunatics are taking over the asylum.
Within days of taking office, the Trump administration also gagged the federal scientists at the EPA, among many others, and their funding was immediately frozen. Even if the EPA isn’t dismantled, its funding is set to be gutted to the point where it becomes an anemic agency.
The frightening thing, though, is that this sort of bill could theoretically succeed, and there’s little anyone could do in the GOP-controlled Congress to stop it. The fact that this bill is even being drafted is a horrifying sign of how confident the GOP are in pushing their anti-environmental agenda.
How quickly things have changed. The EPA was created in 1970 via an executive order from Republican President Richard Nixon, lest we forget. Throw enough money at certain politicians in states with large fossil fuel reserves, however, and they will happily throw the planet away for some short-term gain.
Gaetz, for his part, has leapt onto Twitter to boast about his pro-environmental attributes. Having a look at his history in Congress, however, it does not appear that he has co-sponsored, proposed, or supported any bills or resolutions relating to the environment or the climate whatsoever.
[H/T: Huffington Post]