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EPA rolls back yet another Obama-Era policy

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Scott Pruitt, the current EPA Administrator, is well known for his propensity to draw back Obama-Era legislation, and this decision to reclassify major pollutant sources is no exception.

Trump and his many cabinet appointments have had a tumultuous year, causing the majority of Americans to feel worried and anxious about what’s to come, especially in regards to the safekeeping of the planet. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator pick, Scott Pruitt, has now decided to rollback a Clean Air Act policy that will make it easier for major polluters, like manufacturing plants, to be reclassified as ‘area’ sources. This allows for companies to continue emitting extremely harmful toxins into the air, only changing their source status, which is the classification given to polluters. This rollback negatively impacts not only the United States, but the entire world.

The EPA and its plethora of controversial decisions, has made the public upset in the past, often leaving the everyday person out of the loop and focusing solely on big businesses. John Coequyt, a global climate policy director for the Sierra Club, a well known environmental advocacy group, was appalled by the most recent drawback by Pruitt and the EPA. According to CNN, Coequyt said that, “[President Donald] Trump and [EPA Administrator Scott] Pruitt are essentially creating a massive loophole that will result in huge amounts of toxic mercury, arsenic, and lead being poured into the air we breathe, meaning this change is a threat to anyone who breathes and a benefit only to dangerous corporate polluters.” His statement is an ominous one that doesn’t bode well for the future of the country and the planet if the EPA continues to make drawbacks like this one.

Many people are concerned by the current status of the EPA and the questionable decisions that it is making, especially previous EPA administrators. Most have warned that if we continue on the path that Pruitt has set out, issues like global climate change, widespread water pollution, and intense air pollution will only get worse. According to The Huffington Post, Carol Browner, the EPA administrator under President Bill Clinton, said that, “Under Pruitt, what they’re doing is conscientiously tearing the place down.” Pruitt and the Trump administration is not only tearing down the EPA that took decades to build up, but they are also tearing down our planet as a whole, rolling back legislation that was put in place to protect the only habitable planet that we know of.

While many people see the EPA’s actions as harmful to the environment, some see its decisions as positive in the long run. According to CNN, Bill Wehrum, an assistant administrator to the EPA, said in a statement that, “[This decision] will reduce regulatory burden for industries and the states, while continuing to ensure stringent and effective controls on hazardous air pollutants.”  By allowing companies that have a history of being major polluters to be reclassified as area polluters, what is going to stop them from continuing to release toxic emissions into the environment?

The path that the EPA is heading down is extremely concerning, leaving the future of the water, air, and planet as a whole in the unknown. The consistent drawbacks of Obama-Era legislation goes to show how little this administration cares about the wellbeing of the planet.   The most recent rollback sets the tone for how the EPA will go about making decisions for the rest of the year and for the remainder of Trump’s time in office.

 

YOUR TURN: How does the current EPA make you feel? Are you hopeful for the future or scared of what’s to come?

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EPA rolls back yet another Obama-Era policy