EPA Rollbacks and the Environmental Impacts
The administration, under the direction of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, should be encouraging the auto industry to develop ways of reducing carbon emissions and increasing mileage, and working to make regulations fair and reasonable. Instead, the administration denies climate change and ruthlessly persists in rolling back decades of environmental regulations that deal with clean air and clean water. Above all, the administration must help to find ways of providing clean energy and a clean source of power and reduce, if not eliminate, CO2 emissions.
But this is not the case. Scott Pruitt is more interested in promoting fossil fuels, opening up government lands for oil and coal exploration, reducing national parks and pristine environments, and opening coastal waters for offshore drilling. Pruitt even went on a trip to promote the sale of natural gas to Morocco. What does selling natural gas have to do with the EPA?
Here are some hard facts:
- Fracking for natural gas and petroleum does NOT give us clean energy. The environmental consequences – contaminating ground water, prodigious use of water, and an increase in seismic activity – are far too dangerous to ignore. And, once again, these are fossil fuels that emit CO2.
- There is no such thing as “clean coal.” Coal is a very dirty fossil fuel that contains dangerous amounts of heavy metals and radioactive compounds and is one of the largest worldwide sources of CO2 releases. But, at this time, coal is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity.
- The fossil fuel industries continue to spread disinformation about nuclear energy and ignore the fact that nuclear power is the cleanest source of energy in our world today.
- Fossil fuels account for over 80% of energy consumption, while alternative renewable energy sources like wind and solar less than 3%.
- The transportation sector accounts for 27% of our CO2 emissions….rolling back fuel efficiency goals will only harm our environment and hinder research for alternate fuels.
- CO2 emissions must be decreased as soon as possible or the consequences will be dire.
We cannot wait for alternative sources of energy to run our country and the world. Just look at these numbers: 400 to 450, 280, and 400. The first number represents the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (in parts per million) about 2.5 million years ago when there were no ice caps and the ocean levels were 15 to 130 feet higher. The second number is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution. The last number is the current amount, and this number is rising. Exacerbating this last number is the speed with which we are dumping CO2 into the atmosphere. This increase is unprecedented. The effects on our planet will be catastrophic.
Ironically, instead of shutting the lights off on Earth Day, we need to find clean sources of energy to light our homes and fuel our cars.