There’s been much outrage over the Republican party’s disdain toward the Environmental Protection Agency. On Friday, Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz presented the most radical idea yet—eliminate the agency entirely. He proposed HR 861, a bill “to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Though the text of the bill is not yet available, according to the Courier-Journal, it would “translate to a smooth transition in oversight and regulations from the federal government to individual states.” Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) has joined Gaetz in his efforts to dismantle the federal bureau responsible for nationally protecting our environment. Massie said, “The EPA makes rules that undermine the voice of the American people and threaten jobs in Kentucky.” Along with Massie, two other Republican congressmen—Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) and Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia)—cosponsored the bill.
Parts of southern Florida, including Miami, are predicted to be underwater by 2025 thanks to rising sea levels, so it’s a little ironic for one of their own representatives to propose abolishing the agency his state needs the most. Then again, Gaetz represents northwestern Florida, so his district should be in the clear.
The details of how HR 861 would work are still uncertain. The Walton Sun reported that the bill “offers nothing in the way of guidance” for how the repeal would be enacted.
Nevertheless, there’s plenty to worry about. The Trump administration ordered the Environmental Protection Agency not to speak to the press, as well as temporarily freezing grant programs. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environment Protection Agency, is in the midst of suing them—and has filed 13 previous lawsuits against them—over regulations that curb oil and gas emissions. On top of that, Trump is also seeking to significantly slash the EPA’s budget. Also, remember that time Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Another day, another attack on the EPA. This, unfortunately, seems to be our new normal. I’m screaming.