By Nicholas Scott
In light of a recent legislation set forth by House Republicans, the Environmental Protection Agency is facing some of the largest budgetary cutbacks to organization has ever seen. In addition to the slashing of funds, law makers are pushing to repeal The Clean Air Act. The EPA is currently in danger of losing $3 billion dollars, constituting almost a third of its entire budget. While it may be difficult to quantify the ecological benefits that result from the EPA’s regulations, the Agency has indisputably shown great success when it comes to protecting the public health.
Leaders from the GOP in the House of Representatives have written and passed a bill that is aimed at taking down the EPA’s funds for the remaining fiscal year. The impact of this law would essentially devastate all aspects of EPA’s work. Their reasoning is that with fewer regulations, manufacturers will be able to create jobs, develop business, and lower overall costs. Additionally, there is hope that the bill will work towards driving down the currently absurd gas prices.
It’s unsettling, however, to think that lawmakers would willingly decimate an organization that promotes and protects public health. EPA’s current regulations work towards protecting against emissions of toxic air, toxic water, contamination of public water supplies, the abuse of dangerous pesticides, exposure of school children to asbestos, and the destruction of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life. Furthermore, the EPA has stated that 160,000 cases of premature death, 130,000 heart attacks, 1.7 million asthma attacks, and 13 million lost work days have been prevented due to initiatives such as The Clean Air Act. It was these very same regulations that have contributed to the extremely low number of mesothelioma related deaths, dropping the annual rate down to under 3000 per year. This statistic alone is a remarkable feat, considering the mesothelioma life expectancy is shorter than 14 months at most.
It is imperative that this new legislation does not become law in America. If enough people become aware, enough people can raise their voice. With the help of the EPA, thousands will live longer, and even more will breathe easier. Toxic mercury will be reduced from bodies of water, and fish will be safer to eat. Lung disease will drastically decrease. And with fewer illnesses, there will be less expenses due to hospital and doctor visits. If anything, the money saved from collateral costs will be much more beneficial to the economy than the budget cuts.