Saturday, November 12, 2011

BCA on the EPA

The House Republicans plan to cut more than $3 billion dollars from EPA funding (about one third of their budget) would have a major impact on the agency's plans to reduce carbon emissions and limit water pollution. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said that, “Big polluters would flout legal restrictions on dumping contaminants into the air, into rivers, and onto the ground, […] There would be no EPA grant money to fix or replace broken water treatment systems. And the standards that EPA is set to establish for harmful air pollutants from smokestacks and tailpipes would remain missing." Without the regulations to control pollution and money to fix these plants, people are at a greater risk to contaminated drinking water. Many Republicans feel that the EPA regulations go to far and make it very difficult for people to make a living. However, the regulations are in place to help protect people. The cost-benefit of enacting the 1990 Clean Air Act would be about $2 trillion by 2020 but it would save about 230,000 lives. So I guess the question is: Is the cut to the EPA’s budget worth it to save that money if there is a greater risk to public health? I personally do not think it is. I realize that the country is in a great deal of debt, but citizens lives should not be put in greater danger in order to save some money.
--Sara Poe

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