Friday, August 26, 2011
Caretakers of the Earth
This morning I read something that disturbed and saddened me. Several Republican members of the House of Representatives are attempting to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its powers, if not eliminate it altogether. They are working on behalf of corporations that want out from under regulations that they feel hinder their ability to make higher profits. It is my belief that certain regulations are necessary to protect our water, air and land resources from those willing to go to any means to make a profit.
2012 appropriations bills coming out of the House for the Interior Department and the EPA have had almost forty anti-environment "riders" attached to them by Republican representatives. These riders would block the EPA from making or maintaining regulations to protect clean water, clean air, energy efficiency and wildlife. Here are a few of them:
1) Block the EPA from clarifying which streams are to be protected by the Clean Water Act;
2) Exempt pesticides from the Clean Water Act;
3 Allow the government to purchase dirtier fuels, such as liquid coal;
4) Block the EPA from setting gas mileage standards for automobiles;
5) Place limitations on the Endangered Species Act or eliminate it altogether.
I understand that businesses have to make a profit; but how much additional profit in their hands is worth destroying our environment? Many citizens now are too young to remember what it was like before the EPA put these regulations into effect. Smog in Los Angeles and other cities was so bad that it was affecting health, and the atmosphere was visibly bad. The Cuyahoga River was so polluted that it actually caught fire. These are just two examples of what was happening all over the country. The regulations by the EPA have improved our environment since then. Do we want to undo all the good that has been done? Yes, profits have to be made, but we have only one Earth. What happens when it has been destroyed? We are supposed to be guardians of the Earth, preserving it for future generations. We have to be vigilant and not let our guard down. I believe we need the EPA to watch over the environment for us against greedy corporations who do not care about it. I don't mean this to be a political issue; I am just stating what is happening.