Remember when Trump implemented a media blackout for the EPA, and everybody freaked out?
Well, prepare to freak out even more, because a Florida congressman just drafted a bill to “completely abolish” the Environmental Protection Agency before the end of 2018.
Climate change isn’t a matter of debate: the climate, according to all data available to mankind, is undergoing an unprecedented change never before seen in human history. The facts behind climate change have been established by an overwhelming majority of scientists around the world.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, Trump and members of the current US administration continue to insist that climate change is a Chinese myth, or that it doesn’t exist at all.
Florida – a state that is already experiencing the devastating effects of rising ocean levels – will particularly suffer from climate change. However, that hasn’t stopped one of the state’s congressman from drafting a bill that would “completely abolish he EPA”.
Republican Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is in his first term as congressman. This past week, he sent an email to lawmakers who might co-sponsor the legislation. That email was obtained by The Huffington Post.
In that email, Gaetz explained that,
“Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans. It is time to take back our legislative power from the EPA and abolish it permanently.”
It’s More Bad News For The EPA After A Bad Start With President Trump
This latest attack on the EPA is one of several major attacks in recent weeks.
Just before this email was leaked, President Trump signed an executive order requiring agencies to eliminate two regulations for every one new regulation they impose – a decision that could have a significant impact on environmental protection laws in the United States.
Trump also named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a known ally of the fossil fuel industry who has spent most of his career suing the EPA, as head of the EPA.
All of this bad news for the EPA was piled on top of Trump’s orders from the first week of his presidency, where the EPA was banned from talking to the media, publishing the results of scientific studies, and performing other essential functions of a research-based government organization.
Why Eliminate The EPA?
America’s national parks are some of its greatest resources. The EPA, among other essential duties, oversees the National Parks system while also protecting Native American tribal lands.
As the Huffington Post reports, Trump “could end up gutting the EPA’s budget, cutting $513 million from grants to states and Native American tribes”.
This funding cut alone would have a devastating effect on the agency.
So why is Congressman Gaetz calling for an abolishment of the EPA on top of all these cuts and restrictions? Gaetz explains that,
“Today, the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats…and the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender.”
This isn’t the first time Gaetz has had a problem with the environment. When he took office as a Florida state lawmaker in 2010, he fought to repeal a requirement that all gasoline in Florida contain ethanol. That bill was finally repealed in 2013, at which point Gaetz called it “one more mandate off the books”.
Congressman Gaetz Has A “Shady” Past
The Huffington Post reports that Congressman Gaetz’s hands may not be totally clean, and that he may have financial incentives to act on behalf of certain interests:
“Gaetz and Pruitt also share a shady past on campaign finance. Gaetz stepped down from two leadership PACs he led three months before the groups donated all their money to his congressional campaign.
Two election fundraising groups linked to Pruitt spent lavishly on trips to Hawaii and New Orleans, but channeled a small fraction of their money to other political campaign”, The Huffington Post reports.
In any case, Gaetz’s proposed legislation would abolish the EPA on December 31, 2018. The EPA was initially established in 1970 by an executive order from Richard Nixon, a Republican.