EPA Deregulation Equals Discrimination?
The NAACP implies that Trump's deregulation initiatives at the EPA are — you guessed it — racist.
The Obama administration facilitated the most onerous climate-related regulations ever devised. The Trump administration is doing just the opposite — giving agencies like the EPA a much-needed deep cleaning. But according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) along with the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Trump’s deregulation initiatives are — you guessed it — racist.
That exact word isn’t found in the duo’s new “Fumes Across the Fence-Line” report, but it’s most certainly implied. The report surmises that minorities “are impacted by the negative health impacts of oil and gas facility operations because of discrimination.”
The study highlights these statistics: “More than 1 million African-Americans live within a half mile of existing natural gas facilities and the number is growing every year.” By extension, “Over 1 million African-Americans live in counties that face a cancer risk above the EPA’s level of concern from toxins emitted by natural gas facilities,” and more than “6.7 million African-Americans live in the 91 counties with oil refineries.”
“African-Americans are exposed to 38 percent more polluted air than Caucasian Americans,” the report elucidates, “and they are 75 percent more likely to live in fence-line communities than the average American.” To summarize: “In the current regulatory environment, the disproportionate burden of pollution will only increase for low-income communities and communities of color.”
As Joe Biden is fond of saying, this is a bunch of malarkey. Even if you could so precisely quantify pollution’s disproportionate effects on minorities, it’s important to consider that many blacks are confined to areas that have been designated by the government (a.k.a. urban poverty plantations). Republicans promote economic freedom and prosperity, which would give minorities the incentive to escape these supposedly toxic housing areas (again, assuming it’s as bad as the report claims). Not to mention that regulation in general disproportionately affects the poor. Thus, deregulation helps them.
But part of the “fix,” the NAACP and CATF assert, is to permanently abandon oil and gas facilities. Economically, this is absurd. Furthermore, to insinuate that Republicans are racist malcontents because they want to bolster the economy and livelihoods helps nobody. Ben Carson had a point back in May when he opined, “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind.” Poverty and agendas that include bogus platitudes about “discrimination” in the energy sector go breathlessly together.