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Make America Gasp Again! More Dirty Air and Water under Trump
Scott Pruitt, a harsh foe of pollution regulation, has been chosen to head the Environmental Protection Agency in the Trump administration. People now will know who to blame for dirty air, water.
By Janet Allon
Trump is already making good on his promise to return America to an earlier time, a time that includes a great deal more air pollution, Paul Krugman writes in Friday's column. He may not be able to bring all those blue collar jobs back, but hey, "in other ways Mr. Trump can indeed restore the world of the 1970s," the columnist opens. "He can, for example, bring us back to the days when, all too often, the air wasnít safe to breathe. And heís made a good start by selecting Scott Pruitt, a harsh foe of pollution regulation, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Make America gasp again!"
Sure, Pruitt is a climate change denier, and that's terrible, but climate change is also kind of abstract. What people are not talking about with Pruitt is that he can imperil people even sooner. Krugman:
Think about what America was like in 1970, the year the E.P.A. was founded. It was still an industrial nation, with roughly a quarter of the work force employed in manufacturing, often at relatively high wages, in large part because of a still-strong union movement. (Funny how Trumpist pledges to bring back the good old days never mention that part.)That turned out not to be the case. Krugman points out what should seem obvious to anyone with a brain that better public health and a cleaner environment also bring about benefits to the economy. Still big business and even the EPA itself keep falsely claiming that regulating emissions and focusing on cleaner air is costly.
So, both our health and the economy are in for it. "But donít expect rational arguments to that effect to sway the people who will soon be running the government," Krugman writes ruefully. "After all, whatís bad for America can still be good for the likes of the Koch brothers. Besides, my correspondents keep telling me that arguing policy on the basis of facts and figures is arrogant and elitist, so there."
The only slim consolation Krugman can find is that dirty air is a lot more visible and obvious than climate change and Americans will know exactly who to blame for it.
This appeared at Alternet.
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