The United States Environmental Protection Agency has found itself the target of significant criticism and vitriol over the last year, and a new bill introduced by Florida representative Matt Gaetz is looking to terminate the EPA altogether.
It is becoming almost ridiculous just how often we are forced to report on the EPA and the level of strife the agency is enduring. It began in earnest late last year when Donald Trump, after his unlikely Presidential victory, announced climate skeptic Myron Ebell to head up the EPA’s transition team. Ebell, who is himself an untrained but highly vocal climate skeptic, has since only served to distance himself from reality when in late January he promised the world, with no inside information whatsoever, that Donald Trump would likely withdraw from the Paris climate agreement — despite the word of actual-insider Rex Tillerson.
Within weeks of the election, Donald Trump announced he would nominate former-Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to be head of the EPA. This was a problem, considering that Pruitt has long been campaigning to restrict and diminish the role of the EPA in protecting the environment and restricting emissions. He also believes there remains disagreement about climate change.
Within days of the Inauguration of the new President, the EPA found itself the topic of yet more news, when it was revealed the new administration had effectively frozen all EPA funding grant programs. Additionally, it was revealed that the EPA was one of several agencies which had received strict instructions to stop communicating with the outside world. The EPA’s website also came under close scrutiny, and numerous references to climate change and climate science, as well as its entire climate change page, were removed.
Unfortunately, it seems as things only go from bad to worse for the EPA, when this week it was revealed that Florida Republican representative Matt Gaetz, introduced a bill in Congress entitled “H.R.861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.” The bill’s cosponsors are Republican Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY-4), Steven M. Palazzo (R-MS-4), and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11). Matt Gaetz is one of a number of new members of Congress who was elected in the recent election.
“They have exceeded their original mission substantially under both Republican and Democratic presidents and violated the sovereignty of the states,” Congressman Gaetz said, regarding his new bill. “I think we need to start fresh.”
“Today, the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats,” Gaetz said in the email, which was obtained by the Huffington Post. “And the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender.”
Gaetz’ bill would see the EPA cease to exist at the end of 2018, with the interim time allowing “states and local governments to protect their environmental assets in the absence of federal overreach.” In a Facebook post, Gaetz also said: “To better protect the environment we should abolish the EPA and downstream resources to states for more effective & efficient protection.”
Related: Republicans — Moderates? Humanity-Crushing Extremists? Stealth Societal Saviors?
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