Jordan Candler / April 17, 2017

With EPA in the Crosshairs, Hyperbole Ensues

Ecofascists in the Leftmedia and EPA are freaking out over pending regulatory cuts to one of the most burdensome agencies.

Few issues elicit as much hardcore defense and incivility from leftists as does environment affairs. And since the Trump administration is threatening to upend a slew of onerous environmental regulations, leftists are fuming. That frustration was evident in a lengthy Washington Post screed outlining “the dramatic steps that Trump officials are likely to take in overhauling federal policies, especially those designed to advance environmental protection and safeguard worker rights.”

The author’s umbrage stems from a January 24 presidential memorandum exhorting: “The Secretary of Commerce shall conduct outreach to stakeholders concerning the impact of Federal regulations on domestic manufacturing.” In summary, a disproportionate 79 of the 168 comments received by the Commerce Department were hostile toward the EPA. In terms of regulations, the Clean Air Act topped the list with 48 complaints. None of this should come as a surprise. Businesses, by Commerce’s calculation, face some $70 billion per year in Barack Obama-enacted compliance costs. Those tens of billions of dollars could otherwise fund innovation and other free market initiatives.

“The campaign to roll back regulations,” laments the Post, “has sparked concern among liberal advocacy groups and some former Obama administration officials, who said the federal government must keep long-term consequences in mind as it considers unwinding rules aimed at protecting the environment and workers.” This demoralization has prompted many to hit the streets. John Siciliano writes in the Washington Examiner that ecofascists are “reaching fever pitch.” In fact, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is requesting an around-the-clock security detail. “One of the reasons for the increased security,” Siciliano speculates, “could be the number of activist groups planning to rally against him and Trump’s vision for the EPA, including nationwide protests planned for next week.” Earth Day is April 22.

If only they espoused such genuine feelings for actual ills. In a recent column, John Stossel explains how the EPA “was necessary in 1970, when it was created.” He adds, “At the time, cities dumped whatever we flushed into nearby waterways — with no treatment. Smokestacks filled the air with actual pollutants: soot, sulfur dioxide, etc. In New York City, we didn’t dare leave windows open because filth would blow in.” That’s no longer the case. “The regulations worked. America’s air and water is cleaner than it’s been for decades. I can even swim in the Hudson River, right next to millions of people — who are still flushing.” Yet decommissioning the agency is a fantasy for one simple reason: “‘Done’ means bureaucrats are out of work. Can’t have that.” The grievance industry would have us believe this nation has never been dirtier. The truth is that the only thing dirtier is its concerted lies and deceit.

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