Tag Archives: EPA

America’s loss of virtue

G. Washington looking on at the Constitutional Convention (photo by John P. Flannery)

G. Washington looking on at the Constitutional Convention (photo by John P. Flannery)

These are the worst of times, in part, because President elect Donald Trump has flagrantly flaunted American law and sound principles of governance.

Mr. Trump betrayed the nation by publicly inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of a foreign nation state at odds with America, to interfere in our elections and to commit cybercrimes – to hack American party emails and servers.

President-elect Trump plainly intends to dismantle our system of laws.  The various Departments in the Executive Branch have evolved over time by complex statutory rights and obligations.  President elect Trump might therefore seek to revise a Department’s legislative authority.  Instead, Trump is infecting these Departments with incompetent pathogens, persons with no experience and antagonistic agenda at odds with the several Departments’ missions.

The Republican Party, the party of President Abraham Lincoln, has elected a man who would install as Attorney General a man who discriminated against blacks.

The party of President Teddy Roosevelt, who pressed the Congress to enact the Food and Drug Act in 1906 (the Wiley Act), has elected a man who would undermine that worthy legislation, that is, if you care what you eat or the prescriptions you use.

The party of President Dwight Eisenhower, who signed the National Defense Education Act in 1958, marking the beginning of large-scale involvement of the U.S. federal government in education, has now elected a man who would depreciate public schooling, by nominating Betsy DeVos, an antagonist of public schooling.

The party of President Richard Nixon, who created the EPA, at first by Executive Order, cared deeply how humans were compromising the quality of air that we breathe and the water we drink, has now elected a man who has nominated an Oklahoma AG who does not believe humans have any adverse effect on the environment. Continue reading

Impure Water – And Getting Worse?

When we use water, drink it, cook with it, bathe in it, it’s not “pure.” 

Accepting that it’s impure, how “safe” is our water?

The answer is we have cause for concern.

The reasons are obvious in Northern Virginia.

There is the increased density of our population, the accompanying development, the large number of households that use wells, the bad practices that many of us follow that can compromise the water’s “purity,” and, perhaps worst of all, the waste products that industry is allowed by law to dump into the water, also what industry dumps that is unlawful (that it’s not supposed to discharge), and how weakly the feds and the state push back against those who pollute, allowing the general public to absorb the cost and risk to their health and mortality.

We don’t always think of the cycle of water that we take for granted. Continue reading

Clean Air Is Important For Most Of Us

Some may remember when Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary James Brady, grabbed the president as they flew over a forest and said in mock alarm, “Look, Mr. President — Killer trees! Killer trees!”

Mr. Brady made this mid-flight stand-up joke in reference to the President’s statement that trees were a major source of air pollution.

Most High School students appreciate that trees absorb Carbon Dioxide and other harmful gasses including Sulfur Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide, and release the oxygen that we need to breathe.

One tree can store 13 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and supply enough oxygen in a day for four people to breathe.

Few think it was the “good old days” when President Reagan’s Administration cashiered twenty top EPA employees, when Assistant EPA Administrator, Rita Lavelle, was convicted of perjury after misusing toxic clean-up Superfund monies, and EPA Administrator Anne Burford resigned when found in contempt for refusing to turn over Superfund records. Continue reading