Letters to the Editor

We need the EPA to protect our environment, not harm it

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, left, shakes hands with coal miners during a visit to Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company's Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., Thursday, April 13, 2017.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, left, shakes hands with coal miners during a visit to Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company's Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., Thursday, April 13, 2017. AP

In recent years, there is a growing sentiment that regulations are bad, but it is worth stopping to think about where we would be without them. Industry would dump its waste in the rivers and pump toxic waste from its smokestacks, poisoning our air — after all, it is cheaper. With very few exceptions, companies care only about the bottom line. We need organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency to protect our environment.

The Trump administration has issued a gag order to the EPA. The EPA gives us information about threats to the environment. These are not matters of national security, and no administration should have the power to silence this speech. Trump’s selection for head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt — a man who has been a conduit for oil and coal industry lobbyists — is like giving the tobacco companies control of the department of health so that they could remove the surgeon general’s warnings from a carton of cigarettes. The oil companies are well aware that climate change is real and have actively worked to suppress the information just as the tobacco companies worked to obscure the science that linked cigarettes to cancer.

Jan Schaafsma, Cayucos

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