The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

EPA has made things better

 


To The Eagle:

After reading Howard Brawn's latest attempt to “put me out of my misery” I can only profess gratitude that he is not my doctor or pharmacist.

Appreciating Howard's literary admonition, I feel we must consider “for whom the bell tolls.” It does so loudly and clearly for all of us who may have taken for granted the liberal, progressive, enlightened political climate that I thought was evolving during the last five decades.

Fifty years ago Rachel Carson's seminal environmental publication “Silent Spring” explained her well researched conclusions why ospreys and eagles were disappearing from the Pacific NW because of industrial chemicals such as DDT's and PCB's, now classified as “legacy poisons” because once created, they never go away. They just go somewhere else such as our water supply, our agricultural soil, the air we breath, bird's nests. Bah, humbug spake Dow and Monsanto. What would you rather have, birds or money?

There's a good reason the nuclear energy industry has been hobbled. The short answer is “nuclear waste” against which chemical legacy poisons pale by comparison. Our society has yet to find a safe way to dispose of poisonous radioactive by-products with a half life of thousands of years. How then to warn generations centuries from now not to dig the stuff up or build upon it? This issue is not a can to be kicked down the road to someone else; Congress's method of problem solving.

Oil drilling must be tightly regulated and appropriately restricted. The state of Louisiana is a fiefdom of the offshore oil barons and the waters of the gulf have become a series of oil slicks between drilling platforms. BP's Gulfstar Horizon site is still leaking. The largest fishing industry in the world remains crippled and bereft.

The Environmental Protection Agency, a direct outgrowth of Carson's ecological mission has guarded our now much cleaner air and water through its regulatory oversight of the chemical and energy industries. The EPA now has a new director appointed by our Executive Polluter In Chief.

Trump's choice of the EPA's legal nemesis, Scott Pruitt, as its new director beggars belief. As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt spent much of his time and his state's budget going hammer and tongs against environmental regulation in a series of odious lawsuits against the EPA on behalf of his best buddies and campaign contributors, the petrochemical industries.

Could there possibly be a more egregious example of putting a fox in charge of the hen house? Actually, one does come to mind.

Jeff Sessions, in an act of criminal negligence by TrumpGov Inc. has become our new Attorney General. Notable for his recent efforts to push the nation's commitment to “liberty and justice for all” back to 19th century standard, Sessions is repudiating successful Federal efforts to help the nation's police departments remove the target from the backs of people of color by training out or straining out the bigots and bullyboys who pollute the methods and reputations of our nation's finest; its police officers.

Sessions is reversing the trend toward treatment and compassion instead of lengthy incarceration for non-violent offenses. His policies of “maximum sentence for any crime “will see a population explosion within industrially owned for-profit prisons who stand to make great profits from increasingly draconian laws and incarceration policies. Sessions is exploring making second offense marijuana related convictions a capital crime; an execution offense. But hey, whaddaya want, justice or money?

So, do my objections make me a politically-correct-left-liberal-progressive? Nah. Think of me as a Zen-Marxist: Live and let live while each of us gives according to our ability, and each receives according to their need. How’s that for pie-in-the-sky? Anyone else hungry for a slice?

J.B. Bouchard

Cathlamet

 

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