In a follow-up to the recent water pollution issue concerning the EPA, the House of Representatives has voted to block the agency in its attempt to gain more control of state water quality standards.
There was a 239-184 vote in favor of a bill that seeks to limit the control of the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the Politico article, politicians opposed to the EPA’s recent actions accuse them of attempting a “huge power grab” and “creating a regulatory nightmare” for most of states in the union. The agency has also been accused of creating a distrustful and bitter atmosphere.

While the bill is not likely to be passed, because it must get through the democratic senate and be approved by the President, it’s another shining example of conservative distrust of government. It’s easy to agree that too much power in the hands of any one person, organization, or government is obviously not a good thing. However, attempts to limit or combat an organization whose sole purpose is to protect the environment in which we all live is quite ignorant.

Ignorance is, of course, not the largest threat to the EPA and the environment. It’s greed. No shock there, huh? Stricter regulations on businesses that create water pollution will obviously show up in higher costs of doing business. Industry leaders make a good case when they say that this not only hampers their ability to get things done, but also prevents them from hiring more people.

Is this really the situation? Is it quite possible that the desire for an ever increasing bottom-line is what’s preventing industry leaders from hiring more people?

It’s easy to conclude that the EPA chose the wrong method to get its much needed job done. No one likes being strong-armed, and that’s what the agency attempted across many states. One thing should be undeniable – we need a government agency like the EPA. The simple fact is that industry’s profit motive will not keep our water clean. The truth is that it does the opposite.

Instead of an overbearing and controlling agency, we need one that will strive to be more cooperative while still being able to do the job that needs to be done.

There are obviously no easy answers here. A real solution will take time. I believe that it is not only possible to be profitable and environmentally responsible, but that the two ideas go hand-in-hand. Business leaders are starting to realize this. It should be one of the EPA’s tasks to lead in this important education, instead of merely dictating.

Tagged with:

Filed under: EnvironmentPollutionRegulatory Policywater pollution