The Trump administration has engaged in an all-out assault against environmental protections in the last 2 years. They have been bought off by corporate executives who want free reign to do whatever they want without having to worry about future environmental protections.
What is especially worrisome about the current reality is that environmental protection used to enjoy full bipartisan support, but that is withering away. According to a Pew Poll, in 1994, 85% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans agreed that the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment. Since then, Democrats have actually increased their support to 90%, however Republicans have decreased their support to 52%.
Overall, Americans support protecting the environment, but there are deep partisan divides on the issue. In a Pew Research Center survey conducted last year, about three-quarters of U.S. adults (74%) said “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment,” compared with 23% who said “the country has gone too far in its efforts to protect the environment.”
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have consistently been more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to say the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment. But as Republican support has decreased since 2004, the gap between the two groups has widened to 38 percentage points.
How has the environment, of all things, become a partisan issue? The power of right wing propaganda. And just why is right wing propaganda attempting to steer the country down this course? To benefit corporations. We, as a people, left or right, Democrat or Republican, need to stand up to this corporate propaganda, and we need to do it now. If not, we will all lose.
As an example of the poor outcomes coming our way, one needs to look no further than the recent explosion of a Husky Energy Inc refinery in Superior, WI:
“On a warm morning in April, workers at a Wisconsin oil refinery were conducting a routine shutdown for maintenance. Suddenly, a gasoline cracking unit exploded, and the workers watched in horror as a huge fireball ripped through the plant. They ran for their lives, barely escaping the blast.
Earlier this month, after a three-month probe, the investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board concluded that a faulty valve at the plant caused the explosion. The board plans to issue recommendations that aim to prevent such an accident from happening again at a refinery.
The Trump administration has twice in its budgets attempted to shut down the Chemical Safety Board; so far, Congress has rejected these attempts. For the 2019 fiscal year, both the House and Senate have proposed restoring full funding.”
We spend $700 billion a year on national defense on the premise that it ensures our safety. But, meanwhile, the Trump administration is literally endangering our safety here at home by trying to relax all environmental standards and shut down all environmental regulatory agencies. This has become a life or death issue, and it should be treated with the same seriousness as national defense. If we can’t protect ourselves from environmental danger here at home, what good is defending from dangers abroad?