By Marc Yaggi, Waterkeeper Alliance
Re: The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List, The New York Times
When Richard Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act in 1972, he called the Act “budget-wrecking,” saying, “Legislation which would continue our efforts to raise water quality, but which would do so through extreme and needless overspending, does not serve the public interest.”
In rolling back nearly 100 environmental regulations Pres. Trump is essentially making the same argument.
But smog-choked air, dying rivers, and oil-soaked soil won’t help us rebuild our economy.
Doing that will take all of us, and we’ll need to do it in as healthy an environment as possible.
Environmental health is key to human health, and, as we’re tragically realizing now, a healthy population is the critical infrastructure our entire economy is built upon.
Just one environmental standard that Waterkeeper Alliance strongly pushed for, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, averts up to 11,000 premature deaths each year, preventing 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks annually, according to EPA. Yet the Trump administration is chipping away at that very standard.
After Nixon’s veto, Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine led the override effort, saying on the Senate floor, “Can we afford clean water? Can we afford rivers and lakes and streams and oceans which continue to make possible life on this planet? Can we afford life itself?”
Congress overrode Nixon’s veto and the answer, in the decades of expansion and prosperity after the Clean Water Act became law in 1972, was clearly yes. Let’s not forget that lesson now.