Trump’s EPA

February 28th, 2017     1 Comment »

The EPA is seeing a lot of changes under President Trump, such as talk of relaxing some EPA regulations. Trump’s 10-member team for the organization, has three former researchers from think-tanks funded by billionaire industrialists, Charles and David Koch, and at least one former lobbyist for the mining industry. Several new members, such as David Kreutzer, have also publicly argued against U.S. efforts to combat climate change, a key function of the EPA under former President Barack Obama. Kreutzer was a senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation, funded by Koch Industries and other energy firms. Kreutzer has called Obama’s efforts to combat climate change costly and unfair to certain industries, and has advocated for more Arctic drilling.

It seems the Trump team is poised to reduce U.S. environmental regulation as a way to promote drilling and mining.

On the (possible) plus side, Doug Ericksen, is the new EPA Communications Director. Ericksen has a degree in environmental science and served as chair of the Washington state senate’s energy and environment committee.

David Schnare, a lawyer and environmental scientist, has been part of the EPA staff for 33 years. He is also part of the The Energy & Environment Legal Institute, whose mission is to address “onerous federal and state governmental actions that negatively impact energy and the environment.”

Most of us can agree that quite a few of the EPA regulations are definitely ‘onerous’ and could do with some tweaking, but besides making wealthy fossil fuel industrialists richer, what is the benefit of relaxed regulations around drilling and mining?

For starters, it would boost the economy.  The greater availability of domestic energy resources benefits the United States by reducing dependence on imported energy and diversifying the economy—which is a pretty big plus for the country as a whole. 

However, this move seems to be a step backwards.  Instead of investing more time and money into the finite supply of coal and petroleum, investing in the nascent renewable energy industry would create jobs, reduce dependence on imported energy, and also diversify the economy.  We’ll be keeping on eye on the ‘new’ bureau.

One Response to “Trump’s EPA”

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