By the Natural Resources Defense Council
The Trump administration has released a list of hundreds of federal rules it plans to weaken or eliminate. Presented under the guise of helping businesses, Trump’s ill-conceived plan helps polluters and harms Americans.
“Make no mistake. Trump’s anti-regulatory crusade is designed to provide Wall Street, fossil fuel companies, industrial polluters, and others with new tools to grind the wheels of public protections to a halt, making it harder for individuals to hold corporations to account,” NRDC president Rhea Suh said.
The benefits of regulations are substantial. Just 10 safeguards created between 2009 and 2014, for example, will save more than 10,000 lives and prevent 300,000 cases of illness and injury each year. And they have a financial benefit, too: Major regulations produced as much as $863 billion in benefits over the past decade for as little as $57 billion, according to a 2014 report by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The risks of not having health and safety regulations are equally substantial. Too many families have suffered because life-saving protections didn’t exist or weren’t enforced. Take Julie Gundlach, for example, whose body is ravaged by tumors caused by secondhand exposure to asbestos when she was a child. Or U.S. veteran Paul A. Schwarz, Jr., who died from eating a piece of cantaloupe in a fruit cup—all because of a lack of food-safety protections. These tragedies, and others like them, could have been prevented with the proper safeguards in place.
It’s the president’s job to protect the American people. Destroying the federal safeguards we have in place does exactly the opposite.