Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The newest GOP boogeyman

The EPA is really getting hammered by Republicans lately. Here is Rick Perry's latest regarding the agency:

“I’ll tell you one thing: The EPA officials we have an opportunity to put in place, they’re going to be pro-business, and there’s not going to be any apologies to anybody about it,” he said. “Those agencies won’t know what hit ‘em.”

He is basically saying he doesn't want the agency to do what its supposed to do, what it was created to do, which is protect the environment. Its right there in the name of the agency. Yet Perry and Republicans just don't care. Their logic is that whatever businesses say hurts them, it must be bad and the gov't shouldn't do it.

Nevermind that air, for instance, is a public good. Air isn't owned by anyone. We, as people who need air to survive, and the gov't have every right to keep a business from damaging the air. Its a matter of public health. And if the gov't can't regulate in order to protect public health then the gov't can't do anything and our constitution needs to be thrown out for something that makes sense.

I'm sorry if the regulation of our environment, which encompasses the things we need in order to survive as a species, hurts some company's bottom line and prevents the creation of a few jobs. But even now with our unemployment problem its not smart to trade a few more dollars in executive pay and a few jobs for the health of our environment and the people that live in it. A job is worth nothing if you are too sick to perform it.

Update: Apparently Republicans have succeeded in convincing Obama that he should be scared of the EPA and its power to kill the economy:

WASHINGTON — President Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule on Friday, buoying business interests that had lobbied heavily against it, angering environmentalists who called the move a betrayal and unnerving his own top environmental regulators.

The president rejected a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would have significantly reduced emissions of smog-causing chemicals, saying that it would impose too severe a burden on industry and local governments at a time of economic distress.

This is exactly the kind of stuff Obama does that pisses off liberals. Buying into the notion that these restrictions would cost jobs for a second, I highly doubt it would be enough to affect Obama's reelection chances. Yet he doesn't want the fight. Avoiding having to intelligently discuss a sensible and health protecting policy is more important than protecting the environment and people's health.

Though to be fair, it is probably a big pain in the ass for Obama and Democrats that they have to use facts and discuss the merits of policy using logic while Republicans just spout off whatever bullshit they want. But hey, that's the cost of being an elected Democrat.

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