Readers Write: Trump attacks environment

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From the moment Trump chose Scott Pruitt, former Oklahoma Attorney General, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the fate of the agency did not bode well.

Pruitt had sued the agency more than a dozen times. He questioned legal authority to regulate mercury pollution, smog and carbon emissions from power plants.

Trump pretends to care about clean air and water, but of course, his choice of Pruitt threatens the future of the agency.

Since the EPA’s mission is to protect the environment, the president’s pronouncements regarding drastically abolishing regulations in every governmental agency naturally jeopardizes their success.

EPA staff will be cut one-fifth, from 15,000 to 12,000 and dozens of programs will be eliminated when grants will be cut by 30 percent.

Trump has other priorities for the federal budget, planning to increase defense spending by $54 billion, ramping up security expenditures, and spending billions for his “great, beautiful” wall with money that could be better used to protect our environment.

Programs that impact the health of our nation will certainly suffer.

Pruitt does not connect our environment with health.

Funding for the Chesapeake Bay clean up project will be reduced from $73 million to $5 million.

Other projects such as brownfields cleanup, abandoned industrial sites, a radon program, climate change initiatives and funds for Alaskan native villages will be eliminated. EPA estimates that more than 450,000 sites need cleaning!

The loss of so many essential programs will disastrously affect our already suffering water infrastructure.

Their Office of Research and Development stands to lose 42 percent of its budget and funding for the office’s “contribution to the U.S. Global Change Research Program”, a climate initiative launched by George H.W. Bush, is to be totally eliminated.

Well, what can we expect from an agency head who, just last week, again announced that he is not convinced that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming?

It does not take much of an imagination to anticipate the irreparable harm to our water supply and the suffering that will ensue. What a cynical and immoral assault on our society!

 

Esther Confino

New Hyde Park

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