Yesterday, the EPA held a Community Event in Fayetteville to discuss the threat of Gen X to the Cape Fear River and all the communities it serves. Congressman Richard Hudson came to show his concern. Ironically, as his opponent Frank McNeill pointed out, if Hudson had his way, the EPA personnel who flew in from Washington would have had to walk, drive or take the train. You see, Hudson supported a measure that would have banned all air travel for EPA inspectors.
Hudson’s been part of the war on the so-called “administrative state” and talking out of both sides of his mouth. On the one hand, he wants voters to know he’s concerned about threats to their health from environmental hazards like Gen X. On the other, he’s doing all he can to cripple enforcement of environmental regulations or hold industries responsible for pollution that causes illness. He voted against the Waters of the US Rule stripping away protections for small waterways. He may genuinely be concerned about the well-being of his constituents but he’s certainly not willing to do a damn thing about it.
Besides the tax cut that exploded the debt and led to rising deficits, the only thing the business-wing of the Republican Party likes about Donald Trump is his dismantling of regulations. As long as they’re in power, we won’t see much done about hazards like Gen X or other measures to protect our drinking water or our air. Hell, they’re still denying that climate change is caused by human activity.
At the state level, the regulatory state that Republicans abhor is responsible for ending the massive fish kills that were once a common occurrence in our rivers and sounds. It’s brought back the oyster industry that was in serious decline for decades and protected estuaries. It’s responsible for clearing up the haze that obscured mountain vistas and protected ridge lines from overdevelopment.
At the federal level, EPA regulations ended the smog that made breathing difficult in American cities for decades. It ended pollution like that at Love Canal and saved the bald eagle from extinction due to pollution from DDT. Lake Erie is no longer a dead lake and rivers no longer catch fire. All of those accomplishments occurred because of the so-called regulatory state that Republicans like Richard Hudson would dismantle.
Our health and our families are stronger because we have protections from industrial pollution. Attacks like the one Hudson launched on the EPA make us less safe. In North Carolina, weakening their enforcement will prevent people along the Cape Fear from having safe drinking water. That’s what a war on the administrative state will do.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >