Year 2, Month 3, Day 4: And The Straw Boss Hollered ‘Well Damn Your Soul!’

The Courier-Press (KY) runs an article about another House Republican who’s gunning for the EPA. Because Kentucky is a coal state, this guy is in their pocket, and he wants to remove the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions in order to make the lives of the mining companies easier. Easier for Kentuckians who’re part of the profit chain from Big Coal, too — at least in the short run. In the long run? Don’t even ask.

The recent Republican attempts to defund or defang the Environmental Protection Agency are examples of short-term, politically-driven thinking at its most egregious. Rep. Whitfield knows perfectly well that the current Congress will never pass any legislation addressing the threat of global climate change, since a majority of its members were elected with the help of money from the petroleum and coal industries. The problem that we face is that the greenhouse effect is a result of the laws of physics and chemistry; climate change is inherently long-term and non-political. While muzzling the EPA may benefit Kentucky’s economy for a few years, does anyone seriously believe that the coal companies will really care about the state and its citizens once the coal’s all gone, the mountains are leveled and the streams poisoned? By carrying out the bidding of his corporate masters, Rep. Whitfield is doing a disservice both to his constituents and to the country as a whole; by treating the environment and its advocates as enemies, conservatives make a livable future for our descendants more and more unlikely.

Warren Senders

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