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Location: California, United States

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Republicans make pollution legal again

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that if you wanted to test a man's character you should give him power. Now the Republicans have all the power they want, and what was one of the first things they did with it? They made polluting waterways legal again ...

With everything that Republicans want to do — repeal Obamacare, overhaul the tax code — it might seem odd that one of Congress’ very first acts would be to kill an obscure Obama-era regulation that restricts coal companies from dumping mining waste into streams and waterways.

But that is indeed what’s going on. On Thursday, the Senate voted 54-45 to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule” — using a regulation-killing tool known as the Congressional Review Act. The House took a similar vote yesterday, and if President Trump agrees, the stream protection rule will be dead. Coal companies will have a freer hand in dumping mining debris in streams.

Killing this regulation won’t really fulfill Trump’s goal of reversing the coal industry’s decline; that decline has more to do with cheap natural gas than anything else. Instead, Republicans are mostly focusing on this rule because they can ....

Every day it's some new awful thing. I know I keep saying this but I guess I still can't really get over it. I'm beginning to come to a depressing conclusion .... the Republicans in Congress and the people who support them are not misinformed or naive or laboring under complex burdens ... they're just bad people.

More from Scientific American ... Trump Cannot Bring Back Coal


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