Monday, June 17, 2024

Why Do Republicans Want To Get Rid Of The Epa

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In The 1960s Republicans Claimed That The Passage Of Medicare Would Be The End Of Capitalism

Why Most Republicans Won’t Defend The Texas Abortion Ban

California Governor Ronald Reagan even proclaimed Medicare would lead to the death of freedom in America. Of course, they were laughably wrong. Since the passage of Medicare, capitalism has thrived and millions of elderly Americans have had longer, healthier lives and greater personal freedom. Medicare remains the most popular form of health insurance in the United States.

When Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.5%, Republicans predicted a recession, increased unemployment, and a growing budget deficit. They were wrong.

Republicans Have So Corrupted Epa Americans Can Only Save It In The Voting Booth

The Republican Party values polluter wealth over public health

Like Donald Trump and the rest of his administration, Scott Pruitt has been caught up in so many scandals that it becomes impossible to focus on any single act of corruption. Its difficult to focus on the damage Pruitt is doing to the environment and public health when seemingly every day theres a new scandal related to his illegal $43,000 phone booth, or use of Safe Water Drinking Act funds to give two staffers a total of $85,000 in raises , or his sweetheart deal on a condo rental from a lobbyists wife , or wasting taxpayer funds on first class air travel and military jets, and a nearly $3m per year security detail, and bulletproof car seat covers, and a bulletproof desk, and so on.

Number of federal investigations into Scott Pruitt has now risen to 11. Reps. Beyer & Lieu say EPA inspector general will take up an inquiry into the $50-a-night condo rental from the wife of an energy lobbyist.

Lisa Friedman

But while Pruitts unprecedented corruption is staggering and would have resulted in his firing long ago in any other presidential administration, the damage Pruitt is doing to public and environmental health is a far greater scandal yet. As George W. Bushs former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman wrote in for why TIME included Pruitt as one of its 100 most influential people this year,

The Gop Offensive Against Climate Action Begins

Ivy Main

GOP members of the House of Delegates are sworn in for the 2022 legislative session.

Even before taking office, Gov. Glenn Youngkin made two rookie mistakes: he declared his intention to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by executive order, not realizing it can only be done by legislation and he nominated the much-reviled Trump-era EPA chief Andrew Wheeler to be his secretary of natural resources, apparently unaware the appointment would need approval from the Democratic-led Senate he had just infuriated with the RGGI announcement.

Evidently not a man to admit a blunder, on his first day in office Youngkin signed an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Quality to notify RGGI of his intent to withdraw Virginia from the carbon-cutting program, and to develop an emergency regulation to send to the State Air Pollution Control Board for the same purpose. The language in the order is a little less than he pledged, and yet still not legal.

These are unfortunate signs that Youngkin, who ran for governor as a moderate Republican, might intend to govern as a burn-the-house-down extremist when it comes to the environment.

Whether they are fellow flame-throwers or not, General Assembly Republicans are rallying around the new governor. Two bills filed last week seek to do legally what Youngkin wanted to do by executive fiat.

HB5 raids the RGGI funds to get money for his own district.

And then theres coal

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Senator John Cornyn Republican Of Texas

Recently re-elected as Senate Republican whip

Cornyns view on a possible human role in climate change is insinuated for a Republican and doubly so for a Republican from oil country. Which is adamantly not to say he favors emissions regulations.

I am not one that denies that human beings have an impact on the environment, Cornyn said in a phone call with Texas reporters in May. But I am sure not willing to put the federal government in charge of trying to micromanage the environment for the United States of America, nor for us to drive up the price of energy for people on fixed income, like seniors and people of modest means, by putting restrictions in place that other nations are not.

Congress And Trump Won’t ‘terminate The Epa’

Explainer: what is the filibuster and why do some Democrats want to get ...

Instead, theyll restrict the agency in far subtler ways.

It could not look more grave, more straightforwardly destructive. Below a simple titleH. R. 861, A BILL TO TERMINATE THE EPAruns the staggering text:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.

Here lies the illustrious EPA: established in 1970 by President Richard Milhous Nixon, strengthened by the Supreme Court and George H. W. Bush, and murdered in the first month of the Trump administration. And the man who did the deed is Matt Gaetz, a 34-year-old Republican who represents Floridas 1st district. He has been in Congress for all of a month. The blood of the air itself is on his hands.

H. R. 861 is realits page on has gone viral over the past few weeksbut the reality that it proposes to enact will not arrive any time soon. This Congress will almost certainly not terminate the EPA, and, even if it does, H. R. 861 is not the legislative blade it will wield. H. R. 861 is a classic piece of stunt legislation: It is short, punchy, without co-sponsors, and introduced by a novice legislator. Gaetz may accomplish nothing else of note this year, but he can truthfully tell his constituents that he proposed terminating the EPA.

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In 2009 Republicans Predicted That The Economic Stimulus Package Would Only Make The Recession Worse And Cause More Unemployment

The results show they couldnt have been more wrong. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ended the recession after only a few months. Although 750,000 people were losing their jobs each month when Obama took office, after the Recovery Act was passed the rate of job loss immediately decreased each month and within a year the economy showed positive job growth.

Considering the severity of the 2008 economic collapse and the total opposition by Republicans to do anything at all to stimulate the economy, it is remarkable that the US economy recovered as quickly as it did.

Looking at the rate of job loss and job creation, its easy to see that the stimulus of 2009 was highly successful in stopping the job losses and turning the economy around.

In 1993 When The Brady Law And The Assault Weapons Ban Were Passed Republicans Predicted Increasing Rates Of Crime And Murder

Thankfully, just the opposite happened. While the rate of violent crime had increased steadily from the 1970s into the 1990s, it suddenly began to drop after 1993 and continued to decline for more than ten years. What could have happened in 1993 to precipitate such a sudden and prolonged drop in crime? Thats the year Congress passed the Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Law, which mandated background checks and a waiting period to buy a gun.

Despite Republican predictions to the contrary, the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban were followed by the most dramatic reduction in violent crime since the FBI started keeping statistics. The graphs below, based on the actual numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports website, show how the rates of murder and violent crime in the US dropped suddenly after the 1993 Brady Law and Assault Weapons Ban were passed.

These charts show the rate of murder and violent crime over 35 years based on numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime reports.

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Grist Is The Only Nonprofit Newsroom Focused On Exploring Solutions At The Intersection Of Climate And Justice

Our team of journalists remains dedicated to telling stories of climate, justice, and solutions. We aim to inspire more people to talk about climate change and to believe that meaningful change is not only possible but happening right now. Our in-depth approach to solutions-based journalism takes time and proactive planning, which is why Grist depends on reader support.

Right now, we set a goal to raise $20,000 by this Sunday, August 15 to help support our wildfire coverage. As of today, were currently at 95% of our goal. Consider becoming a Grist member today by making a monthly contribution to ensure this important work continues and thrives.

Its All In A Name: Global Warming Versus Climate Change

Acosta: If Republicans really want to shock us, then do this

More people believe in climate change than in global warming, according to a University of Michigan study published in Public Opinion Quarterly. Wording matters, says Jonathon Schuldt, a Ph.D. candidate in the U-M Department of Psychology who co-authored the study with ISR researchers Sara Konrath and Norbert Schwarz.

For the research, Schuldt, Konrath and Schwarz conducted a question wording experiment in the American Life Panel, an online survey conducted by RAND, with a national sample of 2,267 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to report their level of certainty about whether global climate change is a serious problem.

The good news is that Americans may not be as polarized on the issue as previously thought. The extent of the partisan divide on this issue depends heavily on question wording, says Schwarz.. When the issue is framed as global warming, the partisan divide is nearly 42 percentage points. But when the frame is climate change, the partisan divide drops to about 26 percentage points.

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It Doesnt Stifle Business

Some industry groups claim the Endangered Species Act blocks development, but researchers reviewed 88,000 consultations between 2008 and 2015 and found that no projects had been stopped or even changed in a major way to protect habitat.

Even proponents of the system concede, however, that the permitting process is slow and tedious.

Only 25 Per Cent Of Republicans Believe Climate Change Is A Very Serious Problem

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A majority of Republicans now admit that climate change does exist, according to a new poll.

The Monmouth University survey revealing a growing number of Americans acknowledge climate change is happening, and that most of them believe its becoming an issue.

Almost two-thirds of Republicans, 64 per cent, believe global warming exists. That number has increased from 49 per cent three years ago.

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Democrats Consider An Altered Landscape For Addressing Climate Change

Democrats in Washington saw their climate action options dwindle Thursday as the Supreme Court diminished the EPAs ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

The courts three liberals disagreed, writing in a dissent that the majority had denuded the agency of the power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.

As industry groups and Republican lawmakers cheered the ruling and Democrats said it will burn critical time to lower domestic emissions, the decision placed pressure on Congress to address climate change as a now-hobbled EPA prepares a new climate proposal.

In a fiery statement that gave the court a new title MAGA Court, a reference to the Make America Great Again slogan of former President Donald Trump, who named three of the six conservative justices to the bench Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., decried the ruling along with two recent high court decisions to weaken gun-safety restrictions and overturn federal abortion protection.

Infrastructure Also Drives Restoration

How Many Republicans In The New Senate

The federal government especially the military holds itself to high environmental standards, as do many states. Government activities alone support thousands of restoration jobs.

Government agencies are big buyers of credits, often to offset damage caused by infrastructure projects, but the link between infrastructure and restoration goes even deeper than that. In Philadelphia, for example, restoration workers are using water fees to restore degraded forests and fields as part of a plan to better manage storm runoff. In California, meadows and streams that control floods are legally treated as green infrastructure, to be funded from that pot of money. Green infrastructure, it turns out, is prettier than concrete and lasts longer to boot.

Trump wants to expedite infrastructure roll-outs, and he can do so without weakening environmental provisions by removing unnecessary delays in the permitting process .

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Poorer Outcomes For The Environment When Republicans Run Things

Despite this straightforward expectation, implementing environmental policy in the US is a complicated affair that includes both national and state institutions, which may complicate what happens on the ground. Most federal environmental programs are managed through a partial preemption system by which the EPA delegates primary implementation authority to state environmental agencies, who are then responsible for the day-to-day operations but must comply with minimum standards. At the national-level, Congress adopts environmental regulations into law, provides resources for their implementation, and has oversight power to ensure that the executive branch is faithfully complying, and the President has executive control over EPA that allows him to direct both the rulemaking processes and how they collaborate with their state counterparts. At the state-level, legislatures and governors share similar legislative and executive powers to their national counterparts, respectively, but are positioned to more directly oversee and control the action of state agencies and the individuals working on the frontlines of environmental regulation. Notably, more than 40 percent of state spending on natural resource programs is funded through federal grants-in-aid, meaning that states are highly dependent on the federal government to fund these programs.

Figure 1 Predicted state-level pollution outputs for Republican and non-Republican control

The Reagan Administration Takes A Swing At Environmental Agencies And Regulation

Riding these political tides to the White House, the early Reagan administration undertook a frontal assault on environmental agencies and regulation much like what we are now seeing. Gorsuch stepped into the EPAs helm, hatching plans to cut its budget and personnel by half. Her Colorado colleague over at the Interior Department, James Watt, sought a similar devolution of control over federal lands OSHA and FDA were also targeted.

But for these Republican anti-environmentalists, the power of the Presidency was not enough. A Democratic Congress, still bolstered by the partys Southern bloc, stood in the way. Democratic committee chairs geared up for Congressional hearings that spotlighted the ensuing consequences and corruption at agencies under fire. The hue and cry then raised, and courtroom battles the Administration then lost, turned out to be much more than it had bargained for. Within two years, Gorsuch and Watt had resigned and restoration of federal environmental agencies was underway. A seminal Supreme Court decision in 1984, Chevron, Inc. vs NRDC, required judicial deference to environmental and other agencies interpretation of statutes, confirming their authority to regulate.

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The Stakes For Climate

Victory for the plaintiffs in these cases would mean the federal government could not dramatically restrict tailpipe emissions because of vehicles impact on climate, even though transportation is the countrys largest source of greenhouse gases.

The government also would not be able to force electric utilities to replace fossil fuel-fired power plants, the second-largest source of planet warming pollution, with wind and solar power.

And the executive branch could not consider the economic costs of climate change when evaluating whether to approve a new oil pipeline or similar project or environmental rule.

Those limitations on climate action in the United States, which has pumped more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere than any other nation, would quite likely doom the worlds goal of cutting enough emissions to keep the planet from heating up more than an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with the preindustrial age. That is the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic hurricanes, drought, heat waves and wildfires significantly increases. The Earth has already warmed an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius.

If the Supreme Court uses this as an opportunity to really squash E.P.A.s ability to regulate on climate change, it will seriously impede U.S. progress toward solving the problem, said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

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L. Dillon conducted and coordinated the research and writing of this article. L. Dillon, C. Sellers, M. Sullivan, J. Harrison, and S. Johns conducted interviews. C. Sellers coordinates EDGIs larger interview project, conducted research and writing, and is the lead author of EPA Under Siege. V. Underhill, N. Shapiro, J. Liss Ohayon, P. Brown, M. Sullivan, and S. Wylie contributed to research and writing. J. Harrison contributed to research design. All authors, including authors in the writing group, contributed to the research and writing of EPA Under Siege.

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Whats Next For The Epa

A: If it isnt the government, whos it going to be? You cant rely on somebody manufacturing something that has an economic benefit Now, in some cases they are concerned about public health and their conscience will tell them that this should not be sold in the manner in which it is used.

I think what were seeing now is an extreme swing of the pendulum against regulatory action by the government. But I personally believe something will happen that will wake people up so that theyll see we do need the government to help with these kinds of problems. Then well demand that the government step back in and take stronger action. We just havent had one of those for quite a while.

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