On the heels of Steve Bannon declaring that the Trump administration selected particular Cabinet nominees to intentionally destroy their federal agencies, President Trump signed an executive order today setting up “regulatory reform officers” and “task forces” within the agencies to help carry out the destruction of regulations. The harsh words the administration chose to describe its agenda are intentional and must be taken seriously. Stopping regulatory “overreach” is one thing, but destroying agencies and regulations that, for example, ensure the tap water your children drink doesn’t contain pollutants that cause cancer or brain damage, is outrageous and immoral.
The order specifically targets regulations that have so-called “negative impact” on job creation; the reality is that only two-tenths of one percent of layoffs are caused by all governmental regulations, including environmental ones. Earlier this month, job loss was cited as a major reason for overturning the Stream Protection Rule despite the fact that the Congressional Research Service found the rule would have created as many jobs as it eliminated. If implemented, the Stream Protection Rule would have protected an estimated 6,000 miles of streams over the next two decades from the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining.
“President Trump’s action to slash regulation is more like a pollution prison sentence, subjecting our communities to increased exposure to polluted water, toxins, disease and economic burden for generations to come. There is no justification for this type of brazen policy that only benefits the richest and most powerful corporations in the world,” said Waterkeeper Alliance Executive Director Marc Yaggi. “Americans and all world citizens want and deserve clean water and clean air. President Trump will face massive resistance to this misguided executive order.”