As part of the measures following from US President Donald Trump’s executive order issued back in March calling for the easing of “regulatory burdens” on the energy industry, the US Environmental Protection Agency will be reviewing the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, amongst others, it was announced last Wednesday.
Specifically, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be reviewing how the two bedrock laws in question, as well as others, impact the energy industry and recent job losses. The aim is apparently to “reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens” on business.
“We are working to curb unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens that do not serve the American people,” explained EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a statement.
Even as regards the political world, and speaking as someone that is in no way “liberal,” that is one very dishonest statement.
Further undermining the natural environment that everyone in the world is dependent upon, and allowing those that temporarily profit from the looting of the natural world to do so with even less oversight than is the case now: How can that possibly be considered to “serve the American people?”
Does keeping the current rapid-resource-extraction economy going in its current form for another decade or two actually serve anyone, in any real way? Is the plan simply to keep Pruitt’s generation in comfort until they die within a few decades (no matter the cost)? I have a hard time seeing the actions discussed above in any other light — they seem to be sheer selfishness, and a simple unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s impact on the world.
“The EPA will conduct a study to weigh how its regulations affect job losses in sectors like coal. A federal court has ruled that the EPA did not need to conduct such an assessment. The EPA will also create a task force to simplify the permit process for building new polluting facilities, weigh options to revamp national ambient air quality standards and launch a ‘smart sectors’ program to engage with industries as it crafts regulations,” Reuters reports.
“The Energy Department said it will focus on streamlining natural gas exports, review its national laboratory policies, review National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations for approving major infrastructure projects and reviewing the agency’s popular household appliance standards program.
“The Interior Department submitted what it called an ‘energy burdens’ report to the president, which outlines some Obama-era regulations it has started to reverse or reform, or has plans to. This includes lifting the moratorium on coal leases on federal land, reviewing regulations on fracking on federal and tribal land, developing a five-year plan for offshore drilling and streamlining the federal leasing program and permitting process.”
So, this is a doubling down on the behaviors that led to the world degrading to the state that it is now in, in other words. A very common strategy amongst primates of all kinds (humans obviously included): if problems arise, simply do more of the same but intensify, changing only inconsequential details of surface appearance, not underlying motives or values.
Scott Pruitt photo by Gage Skidmore (some rights reserved)
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