It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Republican party’s definition of “conservative” has been a long standing effort to defang the ability of the EPA to protect Americans from the bad actions of willfully negligent corporations. Not withstanding that “conservative” derives from the word “to protect” – Republicans have long stood for everything but “to protect”.
And even though Republicans claim a love for personal accountability and responsibility – that ideology stops with its cash money, fat cat corporatist donors who dump toxic chemicals into our air, rivers and lakes. They get all the upside and spread the wealth with all the downside. That’s the Republican way.
The Trump administration is now claiming that protecting us from corporate negligence is too expensive for coal plants who have limitations on how much mercury they can pollute into the environment. As Bloomberg reports:
And, in another reversal of former President Barack Obama’s environmental policies, the agency now finds that the mercury mandates cost far more than the potential benefits that spring from paring emissions of the toxin. According to the new EPA analysis, the costs of complying with the rule are projected at $7.4 billion to $9.6 billion annually, while monetized benefits are estimated to be just $4 million to $6 million each year.
First off – the Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is literally trying to promote the idea that the value associated with cleaner air and water is only about $5 million a year; that could be one person’s bill in the hospital with serious health complications.
Secondly – just search on the internet for the impact of Mercury on human health and this is what comes up:
Health effects of mercury exposure. Elemental and methylmercury are toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems. The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal.
Capitalism for the coal companies and socialism for the rest of us. And in the same way that the Trump’s FCC under asshole former telecom exec and current commissioner Ajit Pai used a process of requesting public comment before moving to eliminate Net Neutrality (later finding that 99% of the comments pushing removal of Net Neutrality were bots promoting the agenda of the Telecom industry and not real humans) – the EPA is moving forward with a chance for Americans to leave public comments as to whether or not they even have the authority to move forward with allowing more mercury into our environment.
The New York Times reported today on how the EPA has made serious rollbacks in protective policies that once again pushes the burden of costs onto American taxpayers, individual wallets as opposed to having accountability and responsibility for the willful negligence of corporations privatizing the profits and socializing the costs.
You can read more in the New York Times article here but this is first thing you’ll see:
All the while – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned after 13 different ethics investigations into his actions; none of which had to do with the very real changes he made in actual policy at the EPA that will stay in place long after his departure.
And as Eric Lipton from the NY Times properly pointed out – Obama era regulations were built in order to protect Americans and children from harmful effects to their health.
Under Trump – Americans will get more of the same. Under the Republican party in a non-Trump universe … the policies are identical. There’s an assault on basic protections that every American has the right to expect; meanwhile – Trump wraps himself in the flag and feigns patriotism.