Old King Coal

Old King Coal

Adrienne BoettingerWednesday,4 June 2014

The Snap:

If you hadn’t heard, President Obama has proven yet again he hates all Americans by allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to issue guidelines to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Never mind the fact that the EPA chose to set the timeline in such a way that it’s completely accomplishable without the economy tanking and turning America into a frozen hellscape. Never mind the fact that the way the regulations are worded means America is already halfway toward accomplishing the fairly meager goals laid out in the provisions. Clearly, this mandate will kill eleventy bajillion jobs and that is way more important than preventing killing of actual people.

The Download:

So what’s the dealio? A bunch of treehugging mamby pamby types want to slow our not-so-gradual turning of the environment into complete crap? The EPA has announced goals for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030.  Not reduced 30 percent from what they are now but 30 percent from what they were in 2005.  House Speaker and Chief Oompa Loompa, John Boehner, declared this to be “nuts.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who seems to be veering back and forth between resembling a constipated weasel and a cartoon turtle — has penned an OpEd on Fox “News” declaring that the EPA will “kill jobs and devastate the middle class.”

Except that people who actually know about economics say that’s pretty much crap. Will this be hardest on coal producing states? Of course it will. Coal is the number one culprit in terms of turning our skies into one giant ashtray. That’s why a lot of places are turning away from coal. Will this save the earth? Of course not. We’ve been fucking up the environment pretty good since the Industrial Revolution so it’s probably gonna take more than a minute to clean up the mess we made. Will this make a difference? Actually, yes. The EPA indicates the measures will prevent up to 4,000 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks in the first year and numbers will rise by about 50 percent by 2030. This could mean around 2,800 fewer hospital admissions a year and 4,900 fewer missed days of school and work.

Climate deniers and those running for reelection within the next year will tell you that cutting emissions in the United States won’t really make a difference considering China is the world’s number one emitter of carbon dioxide (rallying cry for USA – we’re #2!!). Except that the day after the EPA made its announcement, China made its own announcement indicating for the first time ever, Beijing had pledged to put a cap on emissions. In this one instance we were able to avoid saying “do what we say” rather than “do what we do.”

So everything is peachy keen, right? Of course not. Top Republicans in Congress and a sad number of vulnerable Democrats in coal states are vowing to take down the EPA’s regulations and maybe even cause another government shutdown to avoid meaningful action on the environment — all the while decrying the White House doing anything at all without consent of a tragically gridlocked Congress.

What can you do to prevent naysayers from turning these fairly toothless regulations into even mushier slop to be pushed down the gums of people who crazily might want to be able to breathe actual air and drink somewhat cleanish water? Contact your damn Congresspersons/Senators and tell them you support the EPA and wish the regulations had gone further. Also, since we’re in an election year, look at the environmental records and policies of the people vying for your vote. 

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

Washington PostFox “News”SlateThe HillInvestor’s Business DailyFederal Elections CommissionProject Vote Smart; Image Credit: Flickr

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