In Allen Litten’s letter published on July 15, “Overtaxed with taxes,” he blames environmentalists for stopping projects that could generate jobs and private-sector taxes. Individuals with the environment in mind have become an all-too-common scapegoat when it comes to discussions about the economy.
Let’s take Mr. Litten’s two examples of supposed hits to the local economy: environmentalists protesting 1. a new Wal-Mart and 2. the Keystone XL Pipeline.
1. Wal-Mart is one of the worst companies for boosting the local economy: They underpay their workers, source the vast majority of their merchandise from overseas and repeatedly dodge local taxes. Not to mention their extensive record of federal environmental fines.
2. The Keystone XL Pipeline would create an estimated 2,500-6,000 non-permanent jobs and was proven to create only 35 permanent jobs. And if the massive pipeline suffered a break, the results would most likely be catastrophic: It could take billions of dollars to clean a spill and severely damage the local economy in the spill’s radius.
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Environmental scientists work for a sustainable future, preserving our natural resources, shrinking income inequality and helping society and nature coexist. In reality, environmentalists are on the side of the people, especially the local economy.