Letter to the editor: An appalling EPA choice
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:01 AM
The key role of the Environmental Protection Agency is to ensure that all Americans — regardless of religion, race, or birthplace — can enjoy clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and have their health protected from environmental and climate threats.
In order to pass safeguards to meet its mission, the EPA bases decisions and policy entirely on science rather than guesses or assumptions by those who are not experts. While this may appear shocking to those not working at the agency or in environmental and/or climate science fields currently, it’s this process that has thus protected communities across the country from acid rain, smog and a litany of threats.
All one has to do is look at what is happening locally: in East Chicago and Indianapolis, children face the threat of lead poisoning because they live and play near former lead smelters that weren’t cleaned up properly – while Muncie continues to have an active smelter. Outside of Indiana, one can look at the Michigan water crisis and the large uptick in asthma cases in children in the U.S. Or, looking even further, we all are seeing the pictures of what is happening to the air in China.
As a Catholic, I am listening to Pope Francis, who has argued for adding environmental stewardship to the Christian works of mercy, and who has described man’s destruction of the environment as a sin.
That’s why President-elect Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he plans to appoint fossil fuel ally, climate-denying Scott Pruitt, as EPA administrator is appalling and unacceptable. Is Pruitt’s EPA going to protect our children, or will he turn a blind eye like he did in Oklahoma – where he sided with industry when people were harmed by earthquakes linked to oil and gas fracking?
It is apparent we need a stronger EPA, not a weaker one. That’s why I’m calling on Sen. Donnelly and Sen. Young to oppose this nomination. Nothing less than the health of Hoosier children and the health of our planet are at stake.
Sen. Donnelly’s phone number in Fort Wayne is: (260) 420-4955; as of the date I wrote this letter, I could find only a D.C. phone number for Sen. Young: (202) 224-5623.