Friday, July 15, 2011

The Hell with Future Generations!

A House spending bill passed in February 2011 would stop the EPA from enforcing new limits on toxic emissions, such as mercury, from cement plants and from updating air pollution standards on dust and other coarse particulate matter that exacerbate asthma and lung ailments. It withdraws funding for the enforcement of dredge and fill regulations that the EPA recently used to halt a big mountaintop-removal coal project in West Virginia. And of course, it removes funding for climate change mitigation efforts.

Coal ash pond rupture near Kingston, TN, late 2008.

Using the Nation's budget crisis as their cudgel, Republicans are moving aggressively to rollback government policy, regulations, and programs that they have long held in contempt, including programs put in place (with bipartisan support) to protect the health and safety of Americans, and preserve America's incomparable natural beauty.

One of their key targets is the Environmental Protection Agency and its program to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and to boost climate-related research.

Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, will head the House Appropriations Committee. He will reign in dollars allocated to the "run amok" EPA and their efforts to deal with climate change; efforts Rogers claims will "devastate" Kentucky's coal industry.

The incoming Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee (believe or not) is 87 year-old Ralph Hall, R-Texas, a major recipient of oil money, who is willing to spend time and money investigating climate scientists, but apparently not on climate research. At his age, he's probably thinking, "why worry?"

Hall's Vice Chair, Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, says climate scientists are frauds and fascists (does it take one to know one?). Paul Broun, R-Georgia, Chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Committee, supports his colleague's view, stating that climate change concerns are a hoax perpetrated by a scientific community bent on getting federal dollars (and no doubt by the perfidious Al Gore, trying to sell his books).

Perhaps my favorite climate change denier is Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, who heads the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, He tells us that global warming isn't something to worry about because God said he wouldn't destroy the earth after Noah's flood.

But Republicans aren't satisfied with gutting climate research; they want to rollback regulations on clean air, clean water, and endangered species.

Nothing "endangered" about these species. Rep. Paul Broun, R-GA, has them preserved in his office.
Representative Broun seems to equate his ideological opponents with terrorists. In his invocation for a GOP-sponsored barbecue in Cobb County he prayed, "Father, there are many who want to destroy us from outside this nation. Folks like al-Qaeda and the radical Islamists. But there are folks that want to destroy us from inside, the progressives and the socialists..."

Broun and his Republican cohorts have devised a plan for countering the Progressives radical attack on America; they will defund clean air and clean water regulations. Apparently, Republicans plan to hunker down in cigar lounges drinking single malt scotch, so will be safe from air or water pollution. Who knows what these wingnuts are thinking?

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