Here’s a quick quiz: If you had a fireplace, would you keep a wood fire burning all day with the damper 50% closed so the air you and your children breathed was constantly polluted? Would you sprinkle pesticides into the water you and your children drank? Would you add chemicals whose toxic effect you couldn’t measure into the food you ate?
When we talk about the “Environment” that needs to be “Protected,” we’re talking about the extraordinarily complex, incredibly interconnected web of life on which all of us depend in order to live. Why in the world would any of us want to destroy that?
The answer: money.
Trump has selected Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma to head the E.P.A. — at the same time Pruitt is vigorously pursuing lawsuits against the same agency. Who is backing those lawsuits? Oklahoma’s oil and gas industries.
Oklahoma? Oh yeah. That’s the state that has experienced 907 magnitude 3+ earthquakes in 2015 and 585 magnitude 3+ earthquakes in 2014. 109 magnitude 3+ earthquakes were recorded in 2013. There is general consensus among scientists that the spike in Oklahoma’s earthquake activity has been triggered by disposal wells, used to dispose of waste from oil and gas drilling operations — including hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” — a phenomenon known as “induced” seismicity.
But wait. There’s more. Trump is vowing to put coal miners back to work by rolling back regulations, offering tax breaks to invest in infrastructure and ending a moratorium on mining on federal land enforced by President Barack Obama. He would also cancel Obama’s Clear Energy Plan, which obligates power plants to capture more greenhouse gases.
However, those changes would not address the core problem faced by the U.S. coal industry which is that it can’t compete on price with surging U.S. natural gas production.
The attacks of climate deniers like Trump, Pruitt, the Koch brothers, and their well-heeled backers in the coal and oil industries is based on a Big Lie: that environmental protection is a threat to American jobs.
Their answer, drag America back into the 1950s instead of investing in the training that would help American workers compete and earn a living wage in the emerging jobs of the 21st century.
If you care about your health and your children’s health, do everything you can to stop Pruitt’s appointment.