May 5th, 2011 by Taylor Dardan
As budget cuts continue to be imposed by the House GOP on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we are faced with an ever growing reality of lacking environmental regulations and restrictions, and an expanding health risk for our country. With the recent federal budget agreement, the GOP has been aiming to cut down on the EPA’s budget, as well as their influence, and has done so with a moderate amount of success.
Though the budget cuts made (about 16% of the 2010 budget total) don’t seem to be very large, and don’t restrict any of the EPA’s authority on emissions regulation and ability to issue new rules and regulation on global warming and other environmental issues, there could be some monumental health issues facing the general populace, especially when you think about all the positive contributions the EPA makes that have a direct, positive impact on citizens on a base level.
The battle against the EPA has largely involved regulations against greenhouse gas emissions and the Clean Air Act. Though these regulations are portrayed as a hindrance to both business revenue and unemployment (something that is absolutely not true except for a small minority of people), the health risks associated with no environmental monitoring are colossal. Money ‘potentially’ made from abolishing emissions regulations would be far surpassed in hospital bills relating to increases in smog and pollution, not to mention global warming. Businesses cannot be counted on to maintain safe levels of gas emissions as it has been made incredibly obvious that the only source of concern lies in profits.
Another program that could stand to lose massive resources from the EPA is asbestos abatement. This is a huge issue in the fight against the asbestos cancer known as mesothelioma. The material known as asbestos was once used as insulation and in nearly any construction in America as a common building material, and is now banned in many areas because of its association with major health issues. Each year the EPA devotes its time and efforts to remove this material from schools and other structures that still contain asbestos. This work can be viewed as being life saving, when you consider the dire circumstances associated with asbestos exposure. The continued assault and redistribution of EPA resources could have a major effect on its budget and resources for the foreseeable future, and in turn the health of the masses.
The GOP tactics against the EPA hold monumental implications, and could continue throughout 2011 and 2012. It’s vital to keep awareness of the EPA’s positive impact, and defend the agency’s need for resources through the future.
- New Clean Air Act Rules Could Create 1.5 Million Jobs, Study Finds
- Benefits of EPA Regulations Far Outweigh Costs, Industry Lies
- Harvard Study: Estimates $500 Billion a Year For Using Coal (In The U.S)
- NY Times on GOP’s Intention to Attack EPA & Country
- Asbestos Lobby Promotes Asbestos Use around the World
Photo via alles-schlumpf
Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.