Senseless Regulation Reversals

Anyone who believed that Donald Trump was going to be the champion of working people and the middle class during his campaign was a fool. Donald Trump doesn’t care if you live or die, especially if you are poor or powerless. Proof: he recently killed the coal ash regulations, which keeps deadly coal ash out of streams and other waterways. The saddest thing about this blatant disregard for human life is that Trump is undoing what it took years and even decades for much wiser people to accomplish, and he’s doing it all by himself.

Joe Pizarchik spent more than seven years working on a regulation to protect streams from mountaintop removal coal mining.

It took Congress 25 hours to kill it.

The rule is just one of dozens enacted in the final months of the Obama administration that congressional Republicans have begun erasing under a once-obscure law — much to the dismay of agency staffers who hauled those regulations through the long process to implementation.

“My biggest disappointment is a majority in Congress ignored the will of the people,” said Pizarchik, who directed the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement from 2009 through January. “They ignored the interests of the people in coal country, they ignored the law and they put corporate money ahead of all that.”

From Politico

The main problem with this is that coal ash waste is very deadly and causes cancer and other serious health problems. If you are poor or even middle class, unlike a rich person, you can’t just pick up and move if coal ash waste is suddenly dumped into your back yard or drinking water. Republicans are against regulations to an extreme degree which is why they are against any regulation that protects people’s health — at the very same time they are working to take health insurance away from 31 million Americans with the destruction of the Affordable Care Act! (Could it get any more ironic?)

How hazardous is coal ash waste, a byproduct that Republicans seem to want dumped all over America (especially into our water!)? First of all, it’s radioactive. Yes it is! And more from PSR:

Coal ash – the waste material left after coal is burned – contains arsenic, mercury, lead, and over a dozen other heavy metals, many of them toxic. And disposal of the growing mounds of coal ash is creating grave risks to human health.

Toxic constituents of coal ash are blowing, spilling and leaching (dissolving and percolating) from storage units into air, land and human drinking water, posing an acute risk of cancer and neurological effects as well as many other negative health impacts: heart damage, lung disease, kidney disease, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illness, birth defects, and impaired bone growth in children.

This ash, which is generated at coal-fired power plants across the country, is the second-largest industrial waste stream in the country.

And Donald Trump just made it legal to dump this stuff into streams and your water! That means Trump and all the Republicans who allowed this actually want people to get cancer. We need to hold them accountable for this reckless disregard for human health and the environment.