Four Republicans propose a bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency

Well, it’s been only about three weeks since the Trumpster took office, and if it wasn’t our country at stake, American politics would constitute a humorous soap opera. Already we’ve had the Failed Mexican-Financed Wall, the overturned immigration orders, the realization that it won’t be so easy after all to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, Nordstromgate (with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics now asking the White House to investigate Kellyanne Conway for telling people to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff”), the resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn, the new revelation that Trump aides had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials before the election, the criticism of Trump’s attitude to the judiciary by his own nominee for the Supreme Court, the conversion of the Mar-a-Lago Club’s terrace into a national security venue, complete with confidential information open to onlookers, and so on. And it hasn’t even been a month! What will it be like after four years???

And that’s just the administration. The legislature, emboldened by victory, is also up to no good, and one of their dumbest feats to date is the proposal, on February 3, of a House bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Yes, you heard me right. Here’s the entire short bill:

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-5-39-33-am

It was introduced by Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, who had the temerity to put a “black is white” post about it on his Facebook page:

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-5-51-31-am

Gaetz’s partners in crime (all Republicans, of course, and all from the South) are the bill’s cosponsors: Barry Loudermilk (Georgia), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), and Steven Palazzo (Mississsippi). All have abysmal stands on the environment, and some have been vocal critics of the EPA. NBC News gives more information on these representatives, but also reassures us that the bill has virtually no chance of passing, especially since a similar bill  (though not as draconian) was introduced six years ago. (Go here to see other reasons why it won’t pass.)

While some conservatives are praising the proposal, the legislation has little chance of getting through both chambers of Congress.

“It’s hard to imagine Congress being willing to do so, and the American public would almost certainly virulently oppose such a move,” Ann Carlson, an environmental law professor at the University of California-Los Angeles Law School, told Bloomberg BNA in March.

Since its creation in 1970 under President Richard Nixon, the EPA has grown into an agency with an $8 billion fund. And throughout its history, politicians have called to end the EPA both on the campaign trail and through legislation.

Six years ago, Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, introduced a bill with 15 co-sponsors to consolidate the Energy Department and the EPA, but the proposal never made it through the Senate. And earlier that year, as a 2012 presidential candidate, New Gingrich proposed abolishing the agency, as well

I’m not worried that this bill will pass, as it’s unthinkable to get rid of an agency like this (of course with Trump the unthinkable has become thinkable), but it’s symptomatic of the follies that have now become licensed with the Chief Clown as President.

37 Comments

  1. eric
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “downstream resources to states for more effective & efficient protection…”

    Tragedy of the commons? Prisoner’s dilemmas? Never heard of them!

    Don’t we remember when the Bush tax rebate spurred an immense scientific and economic boom, as every person received their $300 check and then immediately rationally maximized its use by investing it in what the country needed most?

    On another note, it’s also somewhat galling that the GOP would have the cajones to say that while fighting against CA state environmental regulations.

    • Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Not to mention things like pollution, increased temperatures, etc. don’t stay confined to one state (or even one country) …

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted February 16, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      A slight improvement in what you wrote:

      “downstream resources to states for more effective & efficient protection…” (wink wink, nudge nudge)

  2. Merilee
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Sub

  3. darrelle
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    It does make me laugh. Not a happy laugh though.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    At least these morons are consistent. Never do they come up with logical, reasoned improvements to a policy or agency. Instead we simply abolish it. Just like the health care and anything else you want to mention. It is not just stupid, it is insane and completely without thought of any sort.

    So, if you want to predict what they will come up with next just think stupid and you will find it. Trump is running things just as expected with the jerks he has on board. It is a laughing stock for the world to see. The last original thought this trump had, before the wall idea was to steal money from daddy and lie to everyone he met.

  5. busterggi
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Its’ thinkable alright or they wouldn’t be thinking it.

  6. Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    It’s okay; the EPA is the least of our worries.

    The Republicans aren’t even pretending any more: Drumpf is an wholly-owned subsidiary of Putin, and all red-blooded Americans should be proud to cover themselves in the red flag of Russia. Red states, right? Red good, blue bad. Red, red, red.

    Russian involvement and influence has been obvious and unquestionable; that’s not news.

    What’s news is that Red Republicans are defending Russia’s right to dominate America.

    Just look at the Fox line: Flynn reassuring Russia that the sanctions would merely last as long as the Obama administration isn’t only yesterday’s news, his only indiscretion was not fully coordinating it with Pence. The real story we should be upset about is that an American was spied on and the spies leaked the story.

    (Never mind that it was Russian agents whom we spied upon and that Flynn’s conversation is exactly the sort of traitorous act our spies are supposed to protect us against, of course — old news, remember?)

    I still don’t know how it plays out from here, but the shape is becoming obvious.

    Our saving grace may well be nothing more than the utter incompetence of our Manchurian Candidate.

    And our last hope may well be those Cold War institutions, or even just a faction within one of them. Which should again be especially troublesome…why should we expect the CIA to be any less autocratic after it saves us from Putin’s Orange Bitch than Herr Drumpfenfurher himself?

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      America is multiple times more powerful than Russia and as such American involvement in other countries affairs is far greater.

      People who get hysterical about Russia’s involvement in the last election seems to be ignorant about the multiple times the US tried to influcence democratic elections around the world since WW2.
      I recall the CIA even meddling in the 1975 Austalian election.

      • Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Unfortunately, a hypocrite can be correct …

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Or a stupid person.
          I prefer ignorant people, I hate hypocrisy.

      • Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        So, because our spooks have or would have done as much to them, we shouldn’t worry when they do it to us?

        You do realize, do you not, that this is exactly the same pro-Putin propaganda that the Russian / Republican Red alliance is repeating in unison, do you not?

        Apply that same logic to any other form of international relations.

        Say, if Russia slapped YUGE tariffs on American products. Because we’ve pursued sanctions against them, we should just let it slide? They annexed the Crimea and are aiming for Ukraine. Because we pushed for expansion of NATO and invaded Iraq, we should just let them have at it?

        Flip it around: we’ve sanctioned Russia, sure, but that’s no reason for them to reply in kind? We expanded NATO, but they don’t have anything to worry about?

        When RT blathers such nonsense, we dismiss it as Putin’s propaganda. But when Fox blathers the exact same nonsense, we’re supposed to swallow it whole?

        What I’m still wondering is how Putin managed to swallow Fox whole….

        Cheers,

        b&

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          I am not saying you should not deal with Russian threats, I am saying stop trying to take the moral high ground.

          What is your opinion of American involvement in the elections of its allies?
          (or bugging Merkel’s phone as a recent example)

          • darrelle
            Posted February 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            I don’t really see any difference in moral high ground grabbing between your comments and Ben’s. Why do you assume that Ben is attempting to grab the moral high ground in the way you accuse him of? Why do you assume that Ben’s opinion about US involvement in the elections of other nations is substantially different from his opinion about other nations’ involvement in US elections? The assumptions you’ve made give the appearance that your comments are as much virtue signaling as anything else.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

              It is Ben’s hysterics that irritates be, or do you agree that there is a “Russian puppet” in the white house.

              “Why do you assume that Ben’s opinion about US involvement in the elections of other nations is substantially different from his opinion about other nations’ involvement in US elections?”
              Because he blatently ignored my question on his opinion about American involvement in the allections of it’s ALLIES.

              “The assumptions you’ve made give the appearance that your comments are as much virtue signaling as anything else”
              I can make exactly the same claim about you.

              • darrelle
                Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

                Your question was non sequitur and your comment was rude. Why should he have felt obliged to answer your questions in a way that suits you?

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

              “Your question was non sequitur and your comment was rude. ”

              My rude comment was?
              “People who get hysterical about Russia’s involvement in the last election seems to be ignorant about the multiple times the US tried to influcence democratic elections around the world since WW2.”

              If I was rude I apologize.

          • Posted February 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            What a perfect example of Putin’s whatabouttery. America is evil, so we have no moral standing, but not as evil as North Korea, so we have nothing to complain about.

            You might not realize you’re parroting Putin’s party lie. You might even not realize the incoherence of the argument.

            But, knowingly or willingly or otherwise, you are as much a part of Russia’s disinformation campaign as anybody on RT’s payroll.

            It should not be difficult to recognize that Americans must be upset at the fact that Russia has installed a puppet in the White House — just as we must be upset at any other enemy assault on our nation.

            Since you’re playing the moral relativism card…has it occurred to you that you’re defending Vlad the Putin? Need I mention that, however bad you think America is, at least we’re not as bad as Putin’s Russia?

            Cheers,

            b&

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

              “It should not be difficult to recognize that Americans must be upset at the fact that Russia has installed a puppet in the White House — just as we must be upset at any other enemy assault on our nation.”

              Yes Americans should be upset if there are external interference in the democratic process. As to the claim of a “puppet” in the White House (you mean Trump?) – that seems over the top.

              “Since you’re playing the moral relativism card…”
              Let me try to explain to you my stance:
              a) Russian involvement in American elections is wrong.
              b) American meddling in democratic elections in other countries is also wrong, especially its own Allies.
              c) America is the most powerful nation and Russia is weak and the threat to America is limited – there seems to be some Cold War hangovers.

              I am the person who is against the inteference in democratic elections – how on earth can you accuse me of moral relativism?

              I explicity asked your opinion about the American involvement in the Australian election during the 70’s and you ignored the question.

              It is so childish to assume that if one critisize the US you are on the side of its enemies.

              • Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

                As Darrelle has noted, you’re doing nothing but attempting to pivot the discussion to the same non-sequitur that Putin himself and his RT and Fox mouthpieces are pivoting to.

                Everybody here opposes foreign influence in elections, including when Americans do it.

                Only Russians and their puppets — you would be an example of the latter, again knowingly or otherwise — defend Russian influence with the whataboutery that you’re using.

                You owe it to yourself to question why you’re so eagerly defending Putin using his own propaganda.

                If you’re unaware of the fact that you’re doing so, you should very carefully examine where you get your information and ideas from.

                If you’re unaware but don’t care, you should carefully consider the fact that Putin is nobody’s friend but his own.

                And if you’re an unabashed Russian agent, you should realize that this is not a forum where your propaganda will find a supportive audience.

                We may be a bunch of liberal lefties here, but we have no more sympathy for Russian oligarchs and the FSB than we did for them when the exact same people were Soviet autocrats and the KGB.

                Cheers,

                b&

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted February 15, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

                “your response to this is exactly the same as Putin’s and RT’s”

                Ben I asked you repectfully not to misrepresent my arguments.
                What on earth did I say that is “exactly the same as Putin”?

                “position you’re arguing so strongly for.”
                That interfering in elections is wrong?

                We are not having an honest conversation here are we?

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

              Dear Ben,

              Can we at least try to represent each others opinions accurately.
              I did not defend Russia did I?
              I agreed that Russia’s inteference was wrong and that Americans has the right to be upset and take appropiate steps.
              If you insist that that makes me a Putin apologist then I must assume you are not interested in an honest discussion.

              In your defence, my use of “hysterical” was inappropriate and I apologise – however I think you overstate the influence Russia has in the US.

              “Everybody here opposes foreign influence in elections, including when Americans do it.”
              Good we agree on something!

              “And if you’re an unabashed Russian agent,”
              That is not a fair comment is it?

              • Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

                Eric, the thing is, your response to this is exactly the same as Putin’s and RT’s (and Fox’s).

                You might not realize that fact, which is why I urged you to consider how you came to the position you’re arguing so strongly for. Propaganda is a very powerful tool, and the most effective propaganda is that which gets people to repeat it without even realizing that they’re doing so. Russians have been perfecting the art since before the days of Pravda.

                So perhaps you don’t think you’re defending Russia. Maybe that’s even the last thing you’d knowingly do.

                But your response, again, is the same as Putin’s own simultaneous defense of Russia and propaganda attack on America.

                That he sees it as the most effective intellectual approach at his disposal at this time should, if nothing else, give you no small amount of pause in considering why you’d want to join him in his chorus.

                Cheers,

                b&

      • busterggi
        Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Oh P-Shah~

  7. Eric Grobler
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or can you tell by looking at people’s faces that they are uber conservative?
    Matt Gaetz and Mike Pence are prime examples.

    Perhaps there is a correlation between facial and personality types, maybe Léopold Szondi had a point.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Attire and belly size help too.

      Moderate Christians can still look a little hippyish. But real wackadoo fundamentalists have a wholly different look.

      Another cardinal feature is both automobile type and driving skills. I commute everyday to work on bike and the worst drivers (20 years experience): Vets in trucks with flag and/or Xian fish. Somehow those men think I’d be better off in their heaven than on ‘their’ road.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    This type of proposed legislation is pure political posturing by Republican representatives to assuage the red-meat appetite of their tea-party base, with no hope (or often even desire) of the proposal ever being enacted into law.

    The brutal gerrymandering done by GOP state legislatures over the past decades has left many representatives in such safely Republican districts that they no longer face meaningful challenges from Democrats in the general election. Their only real electoral risk lies in getting “primaried” from a GOP candidate even further to their right (as famously happened with former House majority leader Eric Cantor in 2014). The effect of this is that a large portion of the Republican party is being monotonically driven evermore toward the right-wing fringes.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      As a non-american looking from outside the American democratic system seems to be in crisis. The amount of hysteria and irrationality from both sides/parties is astonishing.
      Everything seems ideological rather than practical politics.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Sorry I saw this so late. You are correct I think. With the insertion of Trump and tribe it has gone past ideological and into a fourth dimension beyond the twilight zone. Call it liars politics. Nobody can tell more lies than Trump so he wins.

        The guy just saw his key security adviser resign and Trump blames the media. He also blames the security agencies. Then he has a visit from guess who in Israel and says, maybe one state solution. His Labor to be secretary says good-bye and that is just today. But everything is good because his daughter is now a Jew. I long for the good old days and the twilight zone.

  9. rickflick
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    With the Republican’s multiple attempts to end the ACA, attempts to privatize Social Security, investigations into Benghazi, etc., attempts to end various agencies, the party has turned into a carnival of bluster. While they have a guaranteed audience of low information voters to appeal to and of course their own home constituencies in gerrymandered districts, the nation as a whole, it seems to me, has a lot more sense than to buy into any of it. Now, with Trump, the empty gestures and bellowing is bound to multiply. At some point, I hope, the tables will be turned when some of the low information voters begin to see the down side to government as bedlam.
    I just saw a little blast from Arnold Schwarzenegger on FB where he extols ending gerrymandering like he said they did in California. It’s a fun little film that’s worth a look.

  10. alexandra Moffat
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    What is it about the south? The education system? I understand the Civil War remnants and the sway of Fox but that shouldn’t make so many southerners ignorant re the environment, religion’s affects, science and more. The willful ignorance abroad in the USA and specially the USA red state south is a dangerous complexity.
    Yes, OF COURSE there are fine people, writers, intellectuals, artists. There need to be more!!

    • Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I understand of course why all supporters of this brilliant idea are Republicans, but could an American suggest an explanation why they are all from the South?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      It is a long story that began long before the civil war. Call it a culture, a way of life – maybe it’s in the DNA. The worse problem is that much of what is wrong in Dixie has spread to many other locations where it did not use to be. Call it rural America or whatever fits but it is dangerous, like a cancer in stage three.

  11. Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I hope we are successful in retaining the EPA.

    I recently came across a thin book by Norman Spinrad, “Raising Hell”, published by PM Press Outspoken Authors in 2014. In addition to the short story “Raising Hell” (about union leaders in hell fomenting a strike by the demons…also called Hell’s Angels),there is a very pertinent article titled “The Abnormal New Normal”. It is well worth the read in regards to our current hellish political situation.

  12. Posted February 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    As i recall, most Liberals were certain that Trump wouldn’t be our 45th President. I’d keep a close eye on this bill. Things keep getting curioser and curioser!

  13. Joseph Stans
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    >


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: